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Doctors’ Long-Sleeved Coats Don’t Have More Bacteria After All

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Doctors, you can leave your coat on!

Some have feared that long-sleeved coats and other garments can spread MRSA and other nasty bacteria around the workplace, but a newly published randomized trial finds there’s no added risk.

The study, published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine, was conducted by researchers from the University of Colorado. They randomly assigned 100 medical residents and hospitalists to wear either their own white coats or the kind of just-washed short-sleeve uniform thought to better prevent bacterial spread.

At eight hours into the work day, researchers took samples from breast pocket, sleeve cuff and skin of the wrist, then let them incubate. They found “no significant differences” between the bacterial colony counts from the coats and the uniforms — not on the sleeves (whether short or long) or pockets.
 
 

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