Health care professionals are unwittingly spreading life-threatening infections and other germs because of the gowns and gloves meant to keep them safe, a new study has found.
Researchers asked doctors and nurses to remove gowns and gloves smeared with a fluorescent fake bacteria. When they did, staff contaminated their skin, clothes or both 46 percent of the time on average, according the report published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
The results of the study help explain why drug-resistant bacteria remains a threat in medical facilities.
The authors of the study suggest better training is part of the solution, but it’s not a perfect one.
A retraining effort, which included practicing instructions from the CDC on how to put on gowns and gloves, and how to take them off at one of the hospitals that participated in the study resulted in a drop of contamination rates from 60 percent to 19 percent.
Ultimately, the best solution may be to redesign personal protective medical equipment so it’s easier to remove without contamination, the study states.
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