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Lenski, M. and Scherer, M. A. (2016): Kontamination der Arbeitskleidung bei Ärzten und Pflegepersonal. In: Orthopade, Vol. 45, No. 3: pp. 249-255

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The hands of medical stuff are the most important vectors for the transmission of pathogens in the hospital. Furthermore a "bare below the elbows dress code" has been introduced in Great Britain. Aim of this study was to investigate whether workwear contamination of the medical stuff by pathogens is similar to the contamination of their hands and whether wearing workwear is associated with increased transmission risk. In total 54 swabs were collected from nursing stuff, medical doctors, patients and hospital work material. Patients had a statistically significant more dense colonization with bacteria (median = 73 colony-forming units (CFU)), than the sleeves of the doctor's coat (median = 36 CFU, p = 0,005), followed by workwear of the nursing stuff at the end of a shift (median = 23 CFU, p < 0,001) and the hospital work material (median = 15 CFU, p < 0,001). Isolated pathogens were coagulase-negative staphylococci, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter cloacae and Acinetobacter species. Contaminated work wear presents a relevant risk for the transmission of pathogens. A "bare below the elbow dress-code" or the daily change of the doctor's coat appear both to represent reasonable measures to reduce the transmission risk of pathogens in hospitals.

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