By Colin Fernandez, Science Correspondent For The Daily Mail
00:34 15 Jul 2017, updated 17:31 18 Jul 2017

Dr. Patchen Dellinger

In the constant battle to prevent infections in hospitals, scientists have come up with a stark new proposition – surgeons should operate naked. Physicians found that nude surgeons shed significantly less bacteria than those wearing scrubs.

They say it is because the surgical scrubs rub against the skin, causing bacteria to fall off and spread through the air of the operating theatre. In another challenge to conventional practice, the scientists said there was little difference between surgeons operating in their normal clothes rather than changing into surgical gowns.

The University of Washington paper, based on existing research, also observed that male surgeons shed twice as many germs as women, and that women wearing tights in the operating room were a greater health risk than those with bare legs.

Lead commentator Dr. Patchen Dellinger, professor, Division of General Surgery, University of Washington said: ‘In terms of shedding bacteria into the air, naked people shed less bacteria than people in clothes.

‘The way bacteria gets into the air is through our little skin flakes called squames, and if you are wearing clothing it rubs on the squames and sends them out into the air. If you are naked that doesn’t happen.’

Dr Dellinger added: ‘When I was training in the 1970s, nurses were required to wear skirts and stockings but there is very good evidence that nurses with bare legs shed far fewer bacteria than nurses wearing stockings. Read more >>