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Old 05-15-2019, 05:27 PM
sara20 is offline
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Do forehead thermometers spread infections at doctors offices?


Most of the doctor's offices I have been to the past couple years now use forehead thermometers, where they rub it against your forehead and temple. I wonder if these can spread infection such as virus, strep, staph, and MSRA between patients? To me it seems unsanitary. There is no disposable cover or anything. When they first used it a couple years ago they would wipe the end with an alcohol pad first before using it, now they just use it without cleaning it first. I have asked a couple times for them to clean it first and they usually say they clean it afterwards which I have never seen, and then they clean it in front of me while acting bashful. Are they coated in antimicrobial stuff now or was the person just lazy, and can they spread infections between patients?
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Old 05-15-2019, 05:34 PM
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Well, now I have new phobia for the doctors office. Thanks
I think, really, it's highly unlikely you'll catch something from that. You're more likely to catch something from getting a pedicure.
Do like I do, ask them to clean it everytime. I'm not afraid to do it. I have asked a doctor to wash his hands before.
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:44 PM
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I've never heard of them to be honest.
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:51 PM
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None of my doctors use forehead thermometers. They all use digital oral thermometers with the condom-like disposable covers.
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:54 PM
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They probably do clean them. And is the forehead even a concern when it comes to acquiring the flu or a cold? It's not a mucous membrane and it doesn't come into contact with them either. Now, if there was an Ebola outbreak...
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by sara20 View Post
I have asked a couple times for them to clean it first and they usually say they clean it afterwards which I have never seen, and then they clean it in front of me while acting bashful.
Do the exam rooms in these medical offices have those exam tables with the paper covering? Does the paper covering ever look wrinkled or torn, as if someone else was sitting there before you entered the room? I doubt it, as they probably do clean the rooms between patients, including rolling out a new section of the exam table paper along with wiping down (with disinfectant wipes) the blood pressure cuffs, forehead thermometers, etc. I expect that it shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes between patients.
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:50 AM
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"My doctor felt my forehead, then excused himself and went to wash his hands.

I followed him and washed my forehead."

-- Alan King in Help! I'm a prisoner in a Chinese Bakery!
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:22 AM
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Wouldn't touching the door handles, the seats in the waiting room, etc...much more likely to spread an infection than a thermometer that touches your forehead? I don't think that forehead to forehead is a likely route for infection.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:26 AM
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I think at worst it might just spread acne or makeup residue from patient to patient. I've never seen them either, but they sound kind of icky. They would HAVE to clean them between each patient.
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Old 05-16-2019, 01:21 PM
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Just went in for a routine checkup this morning.

Items apparently never cleaned I came into contact with:

The blood pressure cuff.
The finger squeezing pulse monitor.
The tabletop and rubber tourniquet the lab tech used when drawing my blood.
A ton of stuff all over like chairs, door handles, a touch screen, etc.

One nice touch is the tear-off paper sheet on the exam table. It's just wide enough to give the impression it's for sanitation but not actually wide enough to do even a half-baked job.
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Old 05-16-2019, 03:06 PM
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I'm pretty sure they don't change all the air in the examination room between patients either.
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Old 05-16-2019, 03:10 PM
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I really hate door knobs.
I really, REALLY hate this thread. I may never leave the house again. Excuse me while I go clean all the door knobs in my house.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:47 PM
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I really hate door knobs.
I really, REALLY hate this thread. I may never leave the house again. Excuse me while I go clean all the door knobs in my house.
Don't get an Uber or Lyft ride after their latest report. More germs on the car door handle then toilet seats.

https://fox8.com/2019/05/10/study-ba...brush-holders/

Dennis

Last edited by mixdenny; 05-16-2019 at 08:48 PM.
  #14  
Old 05-16-2019, 09:05 PM
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Ewwww.
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Old 05-17-2019, 07:17 AM
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I thought they stuck something in your ear to read temperatures. Have they changed it to something new, or is forehead reading an older technology?
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:12 AM
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My doctor's office uses the disposable ear things for temperature. I have never seen anyone cleaning blood pressure cuffs, finger clips for oxygen and I don't think I have seen anyone disinfecting the exam rooms between patients. The exception to this would be in the emergency room/hospital setting.
My primary care doctor's office does ask you to don a mask if you have a cough right outside their office. I have never seen anyone using it however.
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Old 05-17-2019, 11:05 AM
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I've only seen the forehead thermometers at pediatric urgent care clinics. Everywhere else I go, they've used sublingual (or rectal, I suppose) thermometers with little rigid plastic covers.

The ones I mostly see are a lot like these:

https://www.welchallyn.com/en/produc...-plus-692.html
  #18  
Old 05-17-2019, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckdawrek View Post
I really hate door knobs.
I really, REALLY hate this thread. I may never leave the house again. Excuse me while I go clean all the door knobs in my house.
Get copper or copper alloy for your knobs if it is a concern. Copper has solid antimicrobial properties.
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Old 05-17-2019, 12:05 PM
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Get copper or copper alloy for your knobs if it is a concern. Copper has solid antimicrobial properties.
Brass has enough copper for the oligodynamic effect to work as well, and brass doorknobs are a lot easier to find than copper I suspect.

Last edited by bump; 05-17-2019 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 05-17-2019, 12:21 PM
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Bad news, Beck, your intestines are filled with bacteria. :P
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Old 05-17-2019, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuanoLad
I thought they stuck something in your ear to read temperatures. Have they changed it to something new, or is forehead reading an older technology?
No idea if the tech is new or not, but the ones from Exergen seem to be the leading variety.

Th maker does offer disposable covers for the tip, or they advocate wiping it with a standard alohol prep pad between patients. As many times as I've had one of them swiped across my forehead, I've never noticed use of a cover, so I can only assume the thing gets wiped when the room is cleaned up between patients.

Even if they don't clean the tip between uses, it's still probably one of the lowest-risk possible infection vectors you'll encounter at the doctor's office. The pen chained to the clipboard you used when you signed in - did the last person wash their hands after stopping at the restroom on the way in?
  #22  
Old 05-17-2019, 02:51 PM
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Don't get an Uber or Lyft ride after their latest report. More germs on the car door handle then toilet seats.
That, at least, is not surprising, since toilet seats aren't really that dirty.
  #23  
Old 05-17-2019, 04:58 PM
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Think that clipboard they gave you to fill out forms gets scrubbed very often? Hope you used your own pen!
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