Health Experts Don't Cotton to Dirty Lab Coats

Traditional MD garb now banned in Britain for spreading infection
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2007 4:16 AM CDT
Lab coats   ((c) Plutor)
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(Newser) – British doctors have been ordered to ditch their traditional lab coats because the National Health Service has determined that they're unwittingly spreading the superbug MRSA and other deadly hospital-acquired infections from patient to patient on the coats' cuffs. Doctors will now have to work with bare forearms and are banned from wearing watches and jewelry.

Doctors are also being told not to wear ties and will be expected to don plastic aprons during clinical work. In addition, nurses will have the power to report directly to hospital boards when they believe doctors aren't doing enough to ensure proper hygiene. Catching an infection at a hospital is patients' No. 1 concern during their stays, according to a recent survey. (Read more doctor stories.)