Did You Know That: Handshake is As Dangerous As SMOKING?



Though all over the world people greet and welcome each other with handshakes, it is in fact a deep rooted African and Far East culture—which goes back to centuries.

However, a new research says, the usual handshake we give each day is as dangerous as smoking in public. According to the research, even though the handshake is a ‘deeply established cultural custom,’ it can spread disease between patients.


According to MailOnline;

A controversial report has called for doctors to stop shaking patient’s hands – and says the practice is an dangerous as smoking in public.

The team claims that even though the handshake is a ‘deeply established cultural custom,’ it can spread disease between patients.

‘Some parallels may be drawn between the proposal to remove the handshake from the health care setting and previous efforts to ban smoking from public places,’ the UCLA team claim.

‘In recent years there has been increasing recognition of the importance of hands as vectors for infection, leading to formal recommendations and policies regarding hand hygiene in hospitals and other health care facilities,’ say the team, led by Mark Sklansky, in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Health care workers’ hands become contaminated with pathogens from their patients, and, despite efforts to limit the spread of disease, cross-contamination of health care workers’ hands commonly occurs through routine patient and environmental contact,’ the report states.

It calls for the handshake to be replaced by a new gesture.

‘Regulations to restrict the handshake from the health care setting, in conjunction with more robust hand hygiene programs, may help limit the spread of disease and thus could potentially decrease the clinical and economic burden associated with hospital-acquired infections and antimicrobial resistance.

‘Effective development and implementation of such a handshake ban will likely require further study to confirm and describe the link between handshakes and the transmission of pathogens and disease; the promotion of an alternative, health-conscious gesture to substitute for the handshake; and widespread media and educational programs,’ the team wrote.

However, they conclude that a ban could help patients.

‘Nevertheless, removing the handshake from the health care setting may ultimately become recognized as an important way to protect the health of patients and caregivers, rather than as a personal insult to whoever refuses another’s hand.

‘Given the tremendous social and economic burden of hospital-acquired infections and antimicrobial resistance, and the variable success of current approaches to hand hygiene in the health care environment, it would be a mistake to dismiss, out of hand, such a promising, intuitive, and affordable ban.’

GC Staff Sw