Until 2006 there was virtually no mention of table sanitation in the chiropractic literature. That has dramatically changed in the last five years. While many doctors, both in private practice and in college clinics, used good sanitation measures, others did not. There are several studies that have cultured microbes from chiropractic colleges and identified a variety of pathogens including methicillin-resistant Staph aureus.
One of the first papers published was from National University of Health Sciences in 2006 and it was followed by three more studies in 2007, 2008 and 2009 by researchers at Parker University and Western States. The most recent study (Feb 2011) from Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College took the treatment table microbe issue one step further and looked at private chiropractic clinics. Those clinics that do not adopt the standard for table sanitation risk not only spreading disease but also face the additional risk of their clinics being closed by authorities. Closures have already occurred in school systems, spas and other establishments in the U.S.
The Journal of Chiropractic Medicine (2009) 8,38–47 suggests an appropriate method of table disinfection that requires surface sanitizing with an acceptable wipe or solution. Although face paper should always be used, application of a CDC or Environmental Protection Agency–approved sanitizing wipe or solution should occur between each patient treatment at a minimum, on the table to face, chest, and hand pieces of the table surface. There is no acceptable way to adequately sanitize cloth-covered treatment table surfaces. The use of these coverings should be discontinued immediately.
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