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Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Spreading I.D. via P.T. Treatments?
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?
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.
Carl Fichtenbaum, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati