Dry Needling and Swabbing


I was teaching in Melbourne last week when I was asked why we don’t swab before needling. I promised to provide the evidence about swabbing & here it is:

Bulletin of the World Health Organisation 2003, 81 (7): “Wash skin that is visibly soiled or dirty. Swabbing of the clean skin before giving an injection is unnecessary.”

Skin disinfection & Acupuncture 2001;19(2):112-116: “Routine skin preparation of the injection site has been reported to be both ineffective and unnecessary” & “The necessity to disinfect the site with 70% ethanol or 60 – 70% isopropanol prior to injection is controversial. There is evidence that giving an injection without prior cleaning is not associated with increased infection risk in young, healthy individuals and it is not recommended for routine insulin injections in diabetic patients because of potential damage to the skin. Some hospitals have given up the use of alcohol before giving injections and no adverse effects have been reported.”

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