Author: Joe Koehler
Special care needed in chiropractic settings to combat the spread of communicable diseases
Chiropractic care faces special hurdles when it comes to hygiene concerns for the doctor, the patient and the office equipment. By its nature, chiropractic care is done with a hands-on approach almost always without rubber gloves. While frequent hand washing and paper table covers are the typical answers to prevention of germ transmission, research now indicates that it is not enough.
Chiropractic tables are designed to accommodate the patient in a prone, or face down position, with a hole cut to accommodate the patients face to facilitate breathing. Paper coverings are employed to provide a clean surface from one patient to the next. Yet, the patient naturally grabs the side of the table on side-lying positions soiling the table itself, and they breathe and sometimes cough and sneeze through the paper hole onto the surface of the table. Paper coverings are not enough.
Additionally, washing ones hands properly will allow you to enter the treatment room with virtually no germs on your hands, once you make contact with the patient's skin, hair, feet etc.. your hands are now soiled. In the course of therapy, and before you next wash your hands, you wil likely hold your pen, grab the hydroculator cover or press the buttons on your stim machine. You are spreading germs all over the exam room. There is every chance you will inadvertently touch the corner of your eyes or nose exposing yourself to the patient's germs - and vise versa.
Previous tests of chiropractic treatment tables in teaching clinics have found pathogenic microbes and allergens on table surfaces.(1,2,3,4,5) Hand hygiene and proper surface sanitizing are known to reduce the spread of pathogenic microbes in health care settings as well as reduce the presence of surface pathogens on treatment tables.(1,3,5,6,7,8)
The table presents a challenge. Although face paper should be used, application of an EPA approved hard surface anti-microbial spray should be used on the table itself between patients, to kill germs on surfaces including the hand holds and face-cradle. One spray, PureGreen24 was tested and is strong enough to kill MRSA, staph and other bacteria yet holds an IV EPA rating- mild enough for use on children's toys (10). An additional benefit of PureGreen24 is that it boasts a residual efficacy of 24 hours so it will continue to kill germs on surfaces not cleaned frequently.
An alcohol-free instant hand sanitizer called SkinWear has been tested and found to continue to protect the hands for up to 8 hours or 4 hand washing. Special properties of the sanitizer, bond the active ingredient Irgisan® to the skin and offer continuing protection as the doctor moves about the treatment room, reducing cross contamination. (9) Both PureGreen24 and SkinWear are available to chiropractic industry at a special cost at Jshygiene
Joe Koehler http://www.jsHygiene.com 847-786-4170