Saturday, January 6, 2018

Bare Below the Elbows: Revisited!

This recent article published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology is another bit of evidence in favor of bare below the elbows as an infection prevention adjunct for inpatient care. This is now normative behavior at VCU Health.

Kudos to Dr. Amrita John and colleagues for their randomized, crossover trial involving simulated patient care interactions. With short sleeves, the frequency of transfer of a viral DNA surrogate marker to clean sites was significantly decreased. 

The goal is to minimize patient/ patient invasive device contact with an infrequently laundered fomite- white coat sleeve cuff (previously reported here).

White coat fomite! Photo Credit: Mike Edmond MD, MPH, MPA
BBE for inpatient care is simple, inexpensive, based on biological plausibility and is unlikely to cause harm (except to the ego of some physicians.)

Hang up the white coat.

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