In the constant battle to prevent infections in hospitals, scientists have uncovered a stark new finding – surgeons should operate naked.
The researchers 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.
A study by the University of Washington in the US found surgeons would spread less bacteria if they operated in the nude (file picture)
The University of Washington study also found 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 researcher Dr Patchen Dellinger 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