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Report: Most Medical Students Don’t Know When Hand Washing Is Necessary

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(Dr. Brian McDonough) Dr. Brian McDonough
Dr. Brian McDonough has been medical editor at KYW Newsradio for more...
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By Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - I have a question for you: In the hospital setting, what is the easiest way to reduce the spread of infection? It also happens be the most effective way. The answer: simple hand washing.

It is such a simple concept you’d think everybody does it! But now a new report finds that two out of three medical students don’t know what situations to wash their hands. And we’re talking about situations that seem obvious.

For instance, before contact with a patient. Before preparation of fluids. After removal of gloves. After contact with a patient’s bed. And after contact with vomit. These are things that people should know and should react to. And this is also very important, because what it’s telling us is if medical students don’t know when to wash their hands, the odds are many physicians don’t either.

Physicians, nurses, everyone involved need to be educated and it has to happen again and again.

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