IDSA Recommends Washing Clothes Before, After Every Patient Encounter

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ARLINGTON, VA – In an aggressive effort to help control the spread of microorganisms, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) strongly recommends health care professionals thoroughly wash their clothes before & after every patient encounter.

“Washing our hands is good but I think we all know we can do much better,” confessed IDSA spokesperson Sid Costello, clad only in a towel as he waits for his clothes to dry. “Microorganisms aren’t just on our hands. They’re everywhere, including on our attire. Why stop at just cleaning our hands? We have to keep our interactions with patients safe, so that means washing everything we wear. Underwear too.”

The new guideline is classified as “bleach-strong” with a “sh*t ton” of low-quality evidence.

The IDSA says that washing clothes with alcohol-based hand gels is acceptable but obviously very labor-intensive, which is why they advocate for the washing of all clothes with soap, water, vancomycin & Zosyn; ideally washing all clothes by hand; and letting all clothes air-dry for at least 60 minutes.

“Installing washing machines & dryers outside of every patient’s room is unrealistic,” added Costello, wringing his tie over the sink. “Man, can’t seem to get this stain out, been working on it all morning. Well, just gotta keep at it! Good thing we all have some time to spare.”

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