Well, this is a topic that has interested us for quite some time. Uniforms and attire worn by many HCWs are really nothing more than street wear as they are not sterile and frequently laundered at home. We have a submitted manuscript in review, on this topic, which I hope to be able to share with you in the near future.
A paper recently published in the American Journal of Infection Control investigated the rate of potentially pathogenic bacteria present on uniforms worn by hospital staff, as well as the bacterial load of these microorganisms. Cultures were obtained from uniforms of nurses and physicians at the abdominal zone, sleeve ends, and pockets.A total of 238 samples were collected. Potentially pathogenic bacteria were isolated from at least one site of the uniforms from 63% of participants. Not surprisingly, 58% of participants claimed to change their uniform every day, and 77% defined the level of hygiene of their attire as fair to excellent.