Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Infectious Diseases

Spreading I.D. via P.T. Treatments?

07/19/2002

Question:

While obtaining Physical therapt treatments recently, I observed that the P.T. Assistant was using the same jar of massage paste on all patients. Now, even though she washed her hands after each patient, isn`t the fact that she is using the same jar a potential for spreading infection -- i.e. thru flakes of skin, anything not visibly noticeable and/ot oozing, even the opening of a mosquito bite and possibly microscopic blood or other contagious material being mixed up in that jar? Is this a good practice? When I asked, the P.T. Assistant said "that`s a good question, we used to use a pump container but switched to this because it`s not as greasy, thus it`s not as apt to soil clothes." What do you think?

Thank you.

Answer:

This is a good question but it is much like make things we use in the public domain. For example, soap in a bathroom. There is no evidence of transmission of HIV via such methods (break or no break in the skin). Other infections may be transmitted via a substance if they can live within the gel. This might lead to a rash upon application of the gel. Bottom line is the risk is quite small for spread of anything. 

For more information:

Go to the Infectious Diseases health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Carl   Fichtenbaum, MD Carl Fichtenbaum, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati