Sameera H. Aljadi
- Journal of Physical Therapy Science (ISSN:09155287)
- vol.29, no.6, pp.1014-1018, 2017 (Released:2017-06-07)
[Purpose] Interferential therapy and electrical stimulation are electrophysical modalities commonly used in physical therapy departments to treat patients with musculoskeletal problems. These machines are applied directly to the patient’s skin via a medium or electrodes, which can facilitate the transmission of microorganisms from one patient to another. The purpose of this study was to determine the extent of microorganism contamination in the machines sponges at physical therapy departments in Kuwait hospitals. [Subjects and Methods] Sixty samples comprising sponges from interferential therapy and electrical stimulation machines, and water from hot pack units were collected from 5 physical therapy departments in 5 different hospitals. The samples were analyzed at a Medical Laboratory to explore the extent and type of microorganisms present. [Results] Forty-one of the 60 samples (68.3%) were positive for microorganism contamination. Of the 41 contaminated samples, 28 (68.3%) were sponges and 13 (31.7%) were water samples. The major microorganisms found were Acinetobacter baumannii (21.9%), Serratia marcescens (12.2%), and Staphylococcus lentus (7.3%). [Conclusion] Interferential therapy and electrical stimulation in physical therapy departments have a high probability of causing cross contamination between patients. Physical therapists are encouraged to adhere to safety guidelines, such as disinfection management, disposal of used sponges, and regular sponge replacement.