Dowd: Giving Doctors Orders

In her column in today’s NY Times, Maureen Dowd reports on the alarmingly high rate of nosocomial infections in hospitals.

Citing the death of her brother who entered the hospital to treat pneumonia and published reports she observes:

Michael died in that I.C.U. A couple years later, I read reports about how neckties and lab coats worn by doctors and clinical workers were suspected as carriers of deadly germs. Infections kill 100,000 patients in hospitals and other clinics in the U.S. every year.

A 2004 study of New York City doctors and clinicians discovered that their ties were contagious with at least one type of infectious microbe. Four years ago, the British National Health System initiated a “bare below the elbow” dress code barring ties, lab coats, jewelry on the hands and wrists, and long fingernails.

The column, “Giving Doctors Orders,” is available on line.

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