My sister-in-law and I decided that for Christmas we would treat ourselves to some girl time. An afternoon out and about that included some pampering in the form of a manicure and pedicure. As I was travelling to my home town in South-Western Ontario, I let her organize the location for said pampering, albeit with a little trepidation of not knowing what type of infection prevention was being followed. As it turned out, the aesthetician is a long-time friend of our family and she was in fact going to cancel my mani & pedi because she’d seen one of my social posts about having Norovirus! The long and the short is that I assured her I was fine and she assured me after chatting about her reprocessing procedures and fact she uses a basin and not a circulating tub for the pedicures!
It always amazes me how life works. Serendipity, happenstance or coincidence – call it what you will, things happen for a reason and when it comes to infection prevention, it has been my experience that after talking about the importance of cleaning and disinfection, an outbreak or advisory notice of some sort invariably comes across my news feed that highlights the point I was making or solidifies my belief that ignorance is not bliss and that if we want to live a long, happy and healthy life, we need to be educated, ask questions and put ourselves first.
Case in point, just yesterday a story hit the news about an advisory from the Middlesex-London Health Unit (South-Western Ontario area) about a salon that had been cited with repeated infection control infractions and the report of a client who had tested positive for a blood-borne infection. The Health Unit has stated that clients who obtained services at the salon may have been put at an increased risk of contracting a blood-borne infection.
Now, before we all start panicking and swearing off manicures, pedicures, tattoos or facials, the risk of acquiring a blood-borne infection is low. Inadequate infection prevention practices such as improper reprocessing of equipment can result in the potential transmission of blood-borne infections as well as common skin infections such as MRSA. The long and the short is that as a consumer you need to educate yourself on what questions to ask and what practices (present or absent) to look out for in order to keep yourself safe and healthy. While I hate to say it, money talks and generally speaking, higher end spas and salons put more emphasis on infection prevention measures. I realize the choice of location is personal so to keep you healthy, the following are a couple of great check lists to refer to before your next appointment!
As I said in my blog last week, you never know when the next outbreak might pop up! You can also be assured that this advisory will not stop me from enjoying spa services. It just reminds me the importance of asking questions before “handing” myself over to be pampered!