Microbial Flora on the White Coats of Dental Staff, Karachi
Background: Wearing a white coat is recognized as a crucial part of medical practice. The definite use of white coats and how frequently they are reformed varies significantly among individual doctors and their specialties. There has always been some worry that white coats, like nurses’ uniforms and other hospital garments, may essentially play a part in spreading pathogenic bacteria. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the risk of transmission of pathogenic micro-organisms through the white coats of dental staff.
Methodology: This cross-sectional study was conducted at Karachi Medical and Dental College (KMDC) from 4th August to 4th October 2019. 200 white coats samples were collected and sent to the KMDC laboratory. Samples were cultured on blood agar and MacConkeys' agar. SPSS version 17.0 was used to analyze the data and chi-square and Fisher exact test were applied for significance testing.
Result: It was noted that most 150(75%) of the respondents washed their coats only once a week and 18(9%) had the habit of exchanging aprons. On the basis of self-grading, majority 158(79%) of the aprons were dirty, spillage was observed on 111(55.5%) aprons and 152(76%) of healthcare professionals did not remove lab coats while dining. Dental health professionals mostly kept their aprons on tables and about 53% of microorganisms were found in the upper region of aprons. The Gram-positive organisms were isolated as predominant ones from the samples obtained from the aprons.
Conclusion: White coats and aprons serve as an important source of cross infection. Guidelines should be formulated for their effective cleaning, washing and appropriate handling.
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