Time for docs to ditch the white coat? - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Time for docs to ditch the white coat?

Updated: Jan 21, 2014 02:59 PM
© iStockphoto.com / Claude Dagenais © iStockphoto.com / Claude Dagenais
  • HealthMore>>

  • A little wine might help kidneys stay healthy

    A little wine might help kidneys stay healthy

    An occasional glass of wine might help keep your kidneys healthy, new research suggests.
    An occasional glass of wine might help keep your kidneys healthy, new research suggests.
  • People seek out health info when famous person dies

    People seek out health info when famous person dies

    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...
    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...
  • Mental illness not a driving force behind crime

    Mental illness not a driving force behind crime

    TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Less than 10 percent of crimes committed by mentally ill people are directly linked to the symptoms of their disorders, a new study shows. "When we hear about crimes committed by people with mental illness, they tend to be big headline-making crimes, so they get stuck in people's heads," said study author Jillian Peterson, a psychology professor at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn. "The vast majority of people with mental illness a...
    TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Less than 10 percent of crimes committed by mentally ill people are directly linked to the symptoms of their disorders, a new study shows. "When we hear about crimes committed by people with mental illness, they tend to be big headline-making crimes, so they get stuck in people's heads," said study author Jillian Peterson, a psychology professor at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn. "The vast majority of people with mental illness a...

TUESDAY, Jan. 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Could a doctor's white coat or necktie help spread germs among patients?

The jury's still out on that question. But one of the world's leading infection control organizations is raising that possibility under just-released germ control recommendations.

"White coats, neckties, and wrist watches can become contaminated and may potentially serve as vehicles to carry germs from one patient to another," Dr. Mark Rupp, one of the authors of the recommendations issued Jan. 20 by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, said in a society news release.

"However, it is unknown whether white coats and neckties play any real role in transmission of infection," added Rupp, chief of the division of infectious diseases at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. "Until better data are available, hospitals and doctor's offices should first concentrate on well-known ways to prevent transmission of infection -- like hand hygiene, environmental cleaning, and careful attention to insertion and care of invasive devices like vascular [blood vessel] catheters."

Additional infection prevention measures could include limiting the use of white coats and neckties, or at least making sure they are frequently laundered, the society said.

"As these measures are unproven, they should be regarded as voluntary and if carried out, should be accompanied by careful educational programs," Rupp said. "There is a need for education because the public, as well as health professionals, regard the white coat as a symbol of professionalism and competence. In the future, patients may see their health professionals wearing scrubs -- without white coats, ties, rings, or watches."

Here is a full list of the recommendations that appear in the February online issue of the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology:

Keep arms bare below the elbows, which is defined as wearing short sleeves and no wristwatch, jewelry, or ties.
Health care workers should have two or more white coats available and have access to easy and cheap ways to launder white coats.
Coat hooks should be available so health care workers can take off their white coats before contact with patients or their immediate surroundings.
Any clothing that comes in contact with patients or their immediate surroundings should be laundered frequently. If laundered at home, a hot water wash cycle (ideally with bleach) followed by a cycle in the dryer or ironing has been shown to eliminate bacteria.
All footwear should have closed toes, low heels, and non-skid soles.
Shared equipment such as stethoscopes should be cleaned between use on different patients.
Items such as lanyards, identification tags and sleeves, cell phones, pagers, and jewelry that come into direct contact with patients or their surroundings should be disinfected, replaced, or eliminated.

Each year in the United States, there are 1.7 million hospital-acquired infections and 99,000 associated deaths, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More information

The National Patient Safety Foundation outlines what you can do to protect yourself from infections in the hospital.

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

  • Health WatchMore>>

  • Study: Diabetic heart attacks and strokes falling

    Study: Diabetic heart attacks and strokes falling

    In the midst of the diabetes epidemic, a glimmer of good news: Heart attacks, strokes and other complications from the disease are plummeting.
    In the midst of the diabetes epidemic, a glimmer of good news: Heart attacks, strokes and other complications from the disease are plummeting.
  • Obama: 8 million signed up for health care

    Obama: 8 million signed up for health care

    Friday, April 18 2014 1:01 AM EDT2014-04-18 05:01:04 GMT
    Eight million people have signed up for health care through new insurance exchanges, President Barack Obama said Thursday, besting expectations and offering new hope to Democrats who are defending the law ahead of...
    Eight million people have signed up for health care through new insurance exchanges and the proportion of younger applicants has increased, President Barack Obama said Thursday. The enrollments exceeded expectations and...
  • Dangers to Napping

    Dangers to Napping

    Amarillo,TX - Many people enjoy an afternoon catnap, but researchers say that could be hazardous to their health.  
    Amarillo,TX - Many people enjoy an afternoon catnap, but researchers say that could be hazardous to their health.  
  • Latest Health NewsThe Latest from HealthDayMore>>

  • A little wine might help kidneys stay healthy

    A little wine might help kidneys stay healthy

    An occasional glass of wine might help keep your kidneys healthy, new research suggests.
    An occasional glass of wine might help keep your kidneys healthy, new research suggests.
  • People seek out health info when famous person dies

    People seek out health info when famous person dies

    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...
    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...
  • Mental illness not a driving force behind crime

    Mental illness not a driving force behind crime

    TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Less than 10 percent of crimes committed by mentally ill people are directly linked to the symptoms of their disorders, a new study shows. "When we hear about crimes committed by people with mental illness, they tend to be big headline-making crimes, so they get stuck in people's heads," said study author Jillian Peterson, a psychology professor at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn. "The vast majority of people with mental illness a...
    TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Less than 10 percent of crimes committed by mentally ill people are directly linked to the symptoms of their disorders, a new study shows. "When we hear about crimes committed by people with mental illness, they tend to be big headline-making crimes, so they get stuck in people's heads," said study author Jillian Peterson, a psychology professor at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn. "The vast majority of people with mental illness a...
*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.