Today’s weird science comes to you courtesy of reader and friend of the blog Tony! Hi Tony! 🙂
Oh sure, those ties. They LOOK so innocent. Do not be fooled. Especially by the ones that look like this:
Much more dangerous than they appear.
Dixon, M. “Neck ties as vectors for nococomial infection” Intensive Care Medicine, 2000.
Really, I must admit, I’ve NEVER understood the tie. Why do men WEAR ties? Why are ties considered formal wear? Do they have a function? I can understand their evolution from the cravat, of course, but why do they continue? It seems odd to me. Ties are dangerous. There’s the obvious choking hazard, the potential blinding of others due to ugliness, I’m sure there’s more. So why? They don’t really look that good.
It is my opinion that ties continue on the fashion world as a male accessory purely so that girls, usually daughters, have something to get their dads on special occasions. I mean, dads are hard to shop for. When it doubt, a TIE! A guy can never have too many ties, right?
And so the tie has persisted, from generation to generation, as a symbol of professional dress, and a certain rite of passage for men everywhere as to how exactly you tie one. In particular, today we would like to focus on the professionality of the tie.
Male doctors (some of them) wear ties. Perhaps pediatricians wear ties with amusing things on them. But ties are not necessarily…the most sanitary things. After all, every single tie that Sci has come across is dry-clean only. And please, they’re TIES. It’s not like they get BO on them. So guys probably wear ties for a good number of times before sending them to the wash, if indeed they EVER send them to the wash. Unfortunately, if you’re a doctor, and you’re wearing a tie, this could mean you’ve got some nasty bugs on there.
So a doctor in an intensive care unit decided to blot the ties of his staff, to see what was growin’. I totally want to blog someone’s tie. Just clothing in general. I would be very entertained.
And stuff…was growing. Only 5 ties, but two of them have high levels of staph, one had moderate levels of staph and high levels of citreus. All came up positive for staph in at least some amount.
And this could be a problem. I mean, I imagine that when most doctors are wearing ties, and come into contact with patients, there are very careful with their ties. You don’t want a tie slapping someone in the face, it’s just rude. And I’m sure doctors are well aware of the danger that people in the ICU could face coming in contact with stuff that doctors are wearing.
So this paper suggested that doctors in the ICU not wear ties. As this comment was published in 2000, I was wondering what kind of impact it made. And so I ask the doctors: do you believe this correspondance? Do you wear a tie? Do doctors now worry about ties and possible routes of infection? And WHY, oh WHY, does anyone still wear TIES AT ALL?!
M. Dixon (2000). Neck ties as vectors for nosocomial infection Intesnive Care Medicine, 26, 250-260