LONDON (AP) _ British hospitals are tossing out dress codes that require doctors to "look professional.'' Turns out those neckties and white coats can be crawling with germs.
The new rules for hospital attire are aimed at stopping the spread of deadly infections.
Next year, British hospitals will ban neckties, long sleeves, watches and jewelry for doctors, along with the traditional long-sleeved white coats. Doctors are to keep their arms "bare below the elbows'' to help prevent the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Britain's Department of Health notes that ties -- which it says are rarely laundered -- "perform no beneficial function in patient care.''
A 2004 study of doctors' neckties at a New York hospital found that nearly half of them carried at least one species of infectious microbe.