Physicians recommend adopting this thing in daily life!
A study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection has a surprising conclusion. Fist-bumping, compared to shaking hands, reduces the transmission of bacteria by about four times.
Dr. W. Thomas McClellan, a plastic and hand surgeon in Morgantown, West Virginia, was talking with two colleagues about MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), a difficult-to-treat, antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection prevalent in hospitals.
When you go into a room with a patient with MRSA, you put on a gown and wash your hands. Meanwhile, the patient’s family is there without any of that on, and you go shake their hands, which probably have MRSA on them.”
So Dr. McClellan had an inspiration, prompted by how he greets his young kids:
Hey, how about a fist bump?”
Fist-bumping touches a part that is not a usable surface of your hand. You still need to wash your hands to limit exposure but fist bumping minimizes the spread of bacteria on your hand.
No one should be under the impression that he/she should be going around fist-bumping all the time.
People should have an awareness of what they’re doing. If you’re shaking hands and about to sit down for a meal, you should wash your hands. If you have an open wound on your hand, you should definitely be washing your hands more frequently.
The study did not address viruses as they are much more easily transmitted. Viruses are much more communicable than bacteria, particularly with the rise of H1N1, bird flu, and other viral pathogens.
Does the Doctor fist bump more now?
Yes, I fist bump everybody now! I still shake hands in meetings. But in the hospital, I don’t. It’s caught on at the hospital because it’s catchy and people understand it. The number of hospital infections has decreased since we presented our study. I can’t directly attribute it to our research, but it could be just be an increase in awareness.
This article first appeared in National Geographic News.
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