Objective: By nature, chiropractic is a hands-on profession using manipulation applied to the joints with direct skin-to-skin contacts. Chiropractic tables are designed with a face piece to accommodate the prone patient's head in a neutral position and hand rests to allow for relaxed shoulders and upper spine so treatment is facilitated. The purpose of this article is to present a proposed guideline for hand and treatment table surface sanitizing for the chiropractic profession that is evidence-based and can easily be adopted by teaching institutions and doctors in the field.
Methods: A review of the chiropractic literature demonstrated that pathogenic microbes are present on treatment tables in teaching clinics at multiple facilities, yet no standardized protocols exist in the United States regarding table sanitizing and hand hygiene in chiropractic clinics or education institutions. This article reviews the scientific literature on the subject by using several search engines, databases, and specific reviews of documents pertaining to the topic including existing general guidelines.
Results: The literature has several existing guidelines that the authors used to develop a proposed protocol for hand and table sanitizing specific to the chiropractic profession. Recommendations were developed and are presented on hand hygiene and table sanitizing procedures that could lower the risk of infection for both clinical personnel and patients in chiropractic facilities.
Conclusion: This article offers a protocol for hand and table sanitizing in chiropractic clinics and education institutions. The chiropractic profession should consider adoption of these or similar measures and disseminate them to teaching clinics, institutions, and private practitioners.