|The doctor's tie: couture or contagion?|
The was a , controlled investigation of the of and on the of from doctors to . Four clothing combinations were tested: long sleeve shirt with unsecured tie, long sleeve without tie, short sleeve with tie, and short sleeve without tie. The ties and sleeves were innoculated with Micrococcus luteus. Each of the four clothing combinations was worn by a physician while he examined five simulated patients in each combination group. The simulated patients were mannequins dressed in hospital gowns lying in hospital beds in a simulation center. Cultures were obtained from the mannequin’s cheek, right hand, and abdomen before and after a standardized 2.5-min history and physical examination
The findings? Wearing an unsecured tie results in greater leeve length did not affect rate.
Here is a letter to the editor, in the Journal of Hospital infection, summarizing a randomized comparison study of bare below the elbows and quality of hand washing. A bare below the elbows approach did not impact the quality of handwashing but did improve the quality of washing at the wrist. The impact that cleaner wrists may have on infection prevention is not known.
Regardless, a bare below the elbows, no necktie recommendation for inpatient care, as recommended by the Infection Control Committee in my hospital is an easy ,safe, and cheap intervention, with the potential benefits far outweighing the harm.