The length of the sleeves on a physician's garment makes no significant difference to the risks of bacterial contamination.
This is according to recent research conducted by scientists at the University of Colorado, which contests the UK government's move to ban long-sleeved garments in order to lower the incidence of MRSA in hospitals.
The team followed 50 physicians from the start of the day when they put on standard, freshly washed, short-sleeved unifiorms.
They were also monitored on a random day on which they were wearing long-sleeved white coats.
But no significant differences were found among the bacteria colony counts on the physicians' wrists, cuffs and pockets at the end of the working day.
Lead research Marisha Murden commented: "We were surprised to find no statistical difference in contamination between the short and long-sleeved workwear.
"We also found bacterial contamination of newly laundered uniforms occurs within hours of putting them on."