STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

New Study Demands Ban on Indian Doctors From Wearing White Coats

\"Long sleeved coats spread infection and lead to avoidable harm and cost to patients,\" said Edmond Fernandes.

Published: 22nd July 2015 01:38 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd July 2015 02:14 PM   |  A+A-

Doctors
By IANS

BENGALURU: Banning Indian doctors and medical students from wearing long-sleeved white coats could reduce the spread of infections in hospitals, says a new study.

"Long sleeved coats spread infection and lead to avoidable harm and cost to patients," said Edmond Fernandes, a postgraduate at Yenepoya Medical College in Bengaluru.

"Every hospital should have a committee to check and respond to hospital acquired infections," he added.

"But an easy win would be for India's ministry of health to ban doctors and medical students from wearing white coats, to reduce the harm and cost that results from hospital acquired infections," Fernandes said in the study published in the journal The BMJ.

"Although long sleeved white coats have traditionally been worn by doctors since the 19th century, we now know that white coats harbour potential contaminants and contribute considerably to the burden of disease acquired in hospital by spreading infection," Fernandes added.

He said that in India, changing areas in hospitals are rare because of space constraints, so white coats are commonly worn by students coming from college and outside the hospital. They are also often left on chairs, tables, and in corridors.

He added that in many cities in India some junior doctors are also now seen wearing white coats in shopping malls and cinemas too, and then they enter sterile zones in the hospital in the same attire.

"Given India's tropical climate, common sense indicates that we should discourage wearing white coats that are washed perhaps only every few weeks," Fernandes said.

In 2007, the United Kingdom took the landmark decision to ban long sleeved white coats - and that in 2009, the American Medical Association wanted to follow suit and dump the white coats, "but the proposal was dismissed because clinicians wanted to keep their traditional gowns", he said.

"White coats are mere symbolism and wearing them does not itself confer status or professionalism," Fernandes added.

"Dressing presentably and sporting a smile are more important than white coats and that institutions should give every medical student and doctor a recognisable name badge to wear," he said.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp