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Croc shoes ban

5th September 2007

Theatre nurses have been banned from wearing the popular Croc shoes in a major hospital amid fears they may be dangerous.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust said it was concerned that the brightly-coloured footwear might pose a health and safety or infection risk.

But it denied the ban was connected with reports – notably from a hospital in Sweden - that static electricity build-up caused by the shoes could disrupt medical equipment.

A spokesman for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals explained that theatre staff had been told to stop wearing the most popular variety of Crocs with holes in the top or side because of risk of injury from falling scalpels and needles, or the risk of catching an infection from blood dropping through the holes.

In a report in Nursing Standard magazine, the hospital pointed out that staff were expected to uphold a dress code in accordance with health and safety regulations and maintain a professional image. Under the code, shoes should be black, low-heeled, soft-soled and supportive.

A Swedish hospital banned the shoes in April after three incidents in which static electricity from staff wearing them was discharged into medical equipment.

But Roy Mclean, the chief executive of Ward Walkers which distributes the shoes in the UK, said that some styles of the shoe were perfect for clinical use.

The Infection Control Nurses’ Association, said Crocs were easier to keep clean than conventional shoes, posing a lower infection risk but accepted that styles with holes in the top could allow blood and fluids from patients to reach the skin.

 

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