Index to Chiropractic Literature
Index to Chiropractic Literature
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ID 20290
  Title Could microorganisms be lurking on your chiropractic table?
Journal JACA Online. 2008 Nov;45(8):Online access only p 9-13
Peer Review Yes
Publication Type Article
Abstract/Notes Introduction: Chiropractic is the largest, most regulated, and best recognized of the complementary and alternative medicine professions in the United States. It has been estimated that approximately 24 million office visits occur annually to the doctor of chiropractic (DC). The usual and customary chiropractic manipulative treatment typically involves the patient lying prone on a vinyl table with face and hands in contact with the table. As a result of this mode of treatment used by DCs, these tables can serve as reservoirs for microbial pathogens. The intent of this paper is to inform the busy practitioner of the presence of microbial pathogens that are evident on their treatment tables and the various infection control techniques that can be utilized in office.

Discussion: When sufficient cleaning and disinfection protocols have not been implemented in a health care environment, the bacterial load on treatment tables increases. The tables then serve as reservoirs for transmission of microbial pathogens to patients—such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus—through their exposed areas. Practitioners should practice a daily in-office disinfection routine, using CDC- and OSHA-compliant products that are safe for the patient and the health care team.

Conclusion: Proper hand hygiene and table sanitizing together are recognized as the leading measure and the single most effective means to prevent, control, and reduce the incidence of health care-related infections. With the increasing prevalence of troublesome infections, practitioners and office staff need to properly sanitize between patients to reduce the incidence rate of office-acquired infections.

This abstract is reproduced with permission of the publisher. Full text is available by subscription.

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