The real answer for ICU infections
Infections are spreading through intensive care units like a rumor through a quilting bee and there's one way and one way only to stop them: Docs and nurses need to clean their hands and clean their equipment.
But docs and nurses are like booger-picking kindergartners -- because no matter how many times you tell them to wash their filthy hands, they just won't do it.
I say dirty docs and nurses should be fired -- or at least put in a special "time out" corner -- but the mainstream has another idea: Make them wear special gowns while in the ICU.
What's next, moon suits?
The gowns, of course, do nothing to stop the spread of ICU infections. In one new study, gowns didn't stop the spread of VRE infections and made only the slightest of dents in the MRSA infection rate.
Not hard to see why. Gowns and gloves -- and moon suits, for that matter -- will ultimately be only as clean as the slobs who wear them. Put a clean gown on a dirty doc, and it won't be long before the gown itself is positively filthy.
Even a clean doc can turn a gown dirty by wearing it around the ward. And if he wears it outside the ward -- or outside the hospital, maybe out on a coffee run -- all bets are off.
Forget the gimmicks and stick with common sense -- make docs and nurses wash up and wash their equipment, and FIRE them when they don't.
Trust me, that single move will do more to stop the spread of germs than anything else -- and it won't cost hospitals a penny.