New York lawmakers seek to ban neckties on doctors in hospital to prevent infection

With hospital-acquired infection affecting up to 10% of all patients admitted to the hospital, legislators in New York are proposing a law that would prohibit physicians from wearing a necktie while working.

A study of 42 surgeons at a New York hospital found that almost half of the surgeon’s neckties were carrying pathogens on their ties. While the doctors wore white coats, they didn’t necessarily button the coat to restrict the necktie. The study used as a control group 10 hospital security guards and found only 1 in the group had a tie that hosted a pathogen.

Hospital infections can be deadly. One study found that approximately 90,000 people die of hospital infections every year. Although there is no conclusive proof that neckties are the cause — doctors carry around other things including clipboard, pens and stethoscopes — it seems like hospitals should be taking every possible measure to prevent infection and that begins with hand washing, isolating patients that carry MRSA, removing central lines in a timely manner and limiting the over use of antibiotics.

A hospital acquired infections is defined as an infection acquired in a hospital by a patient who was admitted for a reason other than an infection. Infection can cause a disability, result in stress to the patient and in some cases result in in a disabling condition or even death.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been injured by medical malpractice and the family of those who have died.

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