By Brandi Schlossberg
Recent research has found chiropractic tables often test positive for bacterial contaminants or pathogenic microbes. This should be of great concern for any chiropractor who is serious about protecting his or her clients from infections and other health issues.
In fact, one study, published in the American Journal of Infection Control in February 2011, confirmed 84 percent of the chiropractors surveyed on the topic of disinfecting their chiropractic tables responded favorably. However, this same survey showed 62 percent of these chiropractors actually had a routine chiropractic table disinfection protocol in place.
As for the reasons chiropractors should be concerned about the cleanliness of their chiropractic tables, this may be summed up by the fact that studies on the subject have found that chiropractic tables tend to test positive for a number of bacterial contaminants or pathogenic microbes, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
Fortunately, by developing a standard routine for disinfecting the chiropractic tables within your practice, you should be able to dramatically reduce contamination and, thereby, the risk of infection. In order to develop the proper chiropractic table disinfection protocol, begin by taking a moment to think about chiropractic tables and the ways in which these tables may be most prone to microbial growth.
For example, most chiropractic treatment tables include a face piece, where clients place their faces during each treatment session. In order to keep this crucial part of the chiropractic table clean, experts not only recommend using face paper, but changing the paper after every single session. Most chiropractors already have this part of the protocol in place, as the face cradle is where makeup, skin secretions and possibly discharge from the nose or mouth may be left on the table.
Besides taking proper precautions with face papers for your chiropractic tables, your disinfection routine most likely needs to go a step or two further in order to ensure the utmost safety of your clients and employees. One study, published in Chiropractic & Osteopathy in June 2007, recommends that chiropractors not only change the face paper after every client, but also perform a direct surface disinfection of the chiropractic table several times a day.
This particular study suggests chiropractors sanitize their tables at the start of the day, in the middle of the day and a the end of the day, as well as “any time clinical judgment warrants additional disinfecting.” A hand washing or sanitizing protocol is recommended as well.