HANDS OFF, DOC: Handshakes With Doctors Ill-advised

A new study says you shouldn't shake your doctor's hand when you go for a check-up. UCLA researchers say doctors shaking their patients' hands may be just as dangerous to people's health as second-hand smoke.

"Compliance with hand hygiene in hospital settings by physicians and other personnel averages 40%," says Dr. Mark Sklansky. "So most of the time, health care providers are not doing adequate hand hygiene."

The researchers say hospitals should make "handshake-free zones" to protect vulnerable patients. They also suggest looking to other cultures for ways to greet each other, such as a bow, or putting a right hand over your heart.


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