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A Cross sectional study to determine the microbes present on the white coat and the factors associated with the contamination, usage, cleanliness and attitude of medical and paramedical students towards the white coat.
Clinical white coats have very long history of being a symbol of hope and healing for medical professionals, they play an important role in doctor-patient relationship; however, there has been a concern that white coats may play a big role in transmitting infections within and outside hospital settings. In this research project, microorganisms present on white coats will be studied. Also, factors associated with contamination, reasons for wearing, usage and attitudes of medical students towards white coat, will be investigated.
The sterile swabs were rubbed once or twice on two predetermined areas of the white coat. After collection, the swabs were streaked onto the blood agar plates and observed for growth. Bacterial colonies were collected and subjected to staining procedures and biochemical tests for the identification of bacteria. Culture plates showing no growth after 48 hours of incubation were declared asnegative.
In a total of 100 white coats of medical and paramedical students, 58% were Gram positive cocci and 42% were Gram negative bacilli grown in culture which includes pathogenic bacteria like Proteus species, Klebsiellaspecies, and Escherichia coli .
This study suggests that a large proportion of medical and paramedical student’s white coats may be contaminated with micro organisms, including Gram negative pathogenic organisms. White coats may be the major vector of transmitting infections from students-patients- students in tertiary health care hospitals. So, efforts should be made to discourage the usage of white coats outside the clinical areas.