Magazine article USA TODAY

Doctors' Neckties Can Make Patients Sick

Magazine article USA TODAY

Doctors' Neckties Can Make Patients Sick

Article excerpt

The next time your doctor wears a necktie, feel free to compliment him on his taste, but immediately ask him to tuck it in his shirt and then wash his hands. Neckties are the carriers of a myriad of germs and bacteria. If the tie rubs against you or your physician touches you after adjusting his tie, the chances for contracting an infection are high.

In the Partnership for Patient Safety video, "Things You Should Know Before Entering the Hospital," experts recommend that you be sure everyone who is going to be touching you, your food, linens, or anything in your surroundings wash their hands first. In the film, various medical personnel are asked how they would react if a patient requested that they wash their hands prior to entering the room. The consensus was that they would be delighted to have the reminder.

Reports from the Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, suggest that as many as 2,000,000 patients contract an infection from hospitals or medical centers each year, resulting in 90,000 deaths. Moreover, it is estimated that staph infections cause nearly 12,000 deaths each year, adding up to increased hospital bills of $9,500,000,000. The tie is just one harbinger for infection. Others include cell phones, EKG wiring, computer keypads, telephones, and floors as thriving sources for infectious bacteria. …

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