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94% of white coats used in hospitals contaminated by dangerous bacteria and fungus: Study

Hyderabad: A study, published in the International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, says that 94% of white coats worn by doctors and other staff in hospitals are contaminated by dangerous bacteria and fungus like Aspergillus, which lead to nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infections.

What’s even more worrying is that the bacteria and fungus present in these white coats have developed resistance to several antibiotics. Even pens and stethoscopes used by doctors can harbour disease-causing microorganisms.

Despite this, there are instances when white coats are not washed for more than two weeks, the study reveals. Only a minuscule percentage of health professionals wash it daily, according to researchers R Saraswati Jayanthi and F Noor of Malla Reddy Medical College for Women.

As part of the research, the team analysed about 200 samples collected from various departments, including medical, surgery, obstetrics & gynaecology, dermatology, paediatrics, ophthalmology and dentistry. About 70 doctors were included in the study, reports ToI.

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