Doctor’s Neckties: A Reservoir For Bacteria?

A study by researchers at the New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens finds that nearly half of neckties worn by medical personnel harbor bacteria that can cause disease. They report their findings today at the 104th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. ”Studies such as this remind us about what we may bring to our patients’ bedside. By increasing our awareness and making simple behavioral changes we may be able to provide a better quality of healthcare,” says Steven Nurkin, one of the researchers on the study.From the American Society for Microbiology :Doctor’s Neckties: A Reservoir For Bacteria?

A study by researchers at the New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens finds that nearly half of neckties worn by medical personnel harbor bacteria that can cause disease. They report their findings today at the 104th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

”Studies such as this remind us about what we may bring to our patients’ bedside. By increasing our awareness and making simple behavioral changes we may be able to provide a better quality of healthcare,” says Steven Nurkin, one of the researchers on the study.

Nurkin and his colleagues sampled neckties worn by physicians, physician assistants and medical students at a teaching hospital in New York. For comparison purposes, they also sampled neckties worn by security personnel at the hospital. Nearly half (47.6%) of the neckties worn by clinicians were found to harbor potential disease-causing bacteria. The odds of a clinician wearing a necktie harboring pathogens were 8-fold greater than that of security personnel.

”This study brings into question whether wearing a necktie is in the best interest of our patients,” says Nurkin. ”Being well dressed adds to an aura of professionalism and has been correlated with higher patient confidence. Senior physicians and hospital administrators often encourage staff to wear neckties in order to help promote this valuable relationship, but in so doing, they may also be facilitating the spread of infectious organisms.”

”While there is no direct evidence to implicate neckties in the transmission of infection to patients, the link between contaminated necktie and the potential for transmission must be considered,” says Nurkin.

4 thoughts on “Doctor’s Neckties: A Reservoir For Bacteria?”

  1. SafeSmart, Inc has launched a line of 24 antimicrobial, stain resistant neckties to be worn in the clinical setting. This is a fashionable and affordable alternative to regular neckties that could aid in the reduction of HCAI (Healthcare Associated Infections). Please visit our website http://www.safesmartinc.com for more information.

    Look Smart, Stay Safe with SafetyTies.

    April Strider
    President, SafeSmart, Inc.

    Reply
  2. We sell a product that can help those health professionals who are required to wear neckties. It is called The Tie Thing. It is a fabric (washable) tie restraint that does not show on the front of the tie, so that the professional and neat appearance of a tie is not ruined. We have a number of customers who are doctors, and these men think that the hospitals should provide The Tie Things to all of their employees!
    Naturally, this is not going to eliminate the problem of ties potentially harboring infections. We are not in the health industry, but the reality is that a lot of places require neckties, so our product is a way of at least trying to keep potentially infectious ties from falling into places they should not.
    Melissa Kane, Pres
    http://www.thetiething.com

    Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Science Every Day

Cutting-edge science delivered direct to your inbox.