The Check-Up: Hospital Germs Are Everywhere

Hand washing in hospitals, MRSA on scrubs—today's shudder-inducing health headlines

I came across two tangentially related stories this week that I really wish I’d never read.

The first, about hand washing rates in hospitals, found that “compliance rates…are only around 40 percent.” Oy. Another study, which put hospital garb—doctors’ lab coats, nurses’ scrubs—under a microscope, found that “more than 60 percent of health workers’ uniforms…tested positive for pathogens, including the germs that can cause pneumonia, bloodstream infections and drug-resistant infections such as MRSA.”

Let’s do some math: Low hand-washing rates + pathogen-laden uniforms = germs. Germs everywhere. Am I the only one grossed out here?

Read more—including why the world’s heaviest woman is going on a diet—over here.