June 2013
Volume 54, Issue 15
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2013
Incidence of Endophthalmitis After Wearing Surgical Masks During Intravitreal Injections
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Erin Lessner
    Ophthalmology, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
  • Rebecca Lessner
    Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine, Harrogate, TN
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Erin Lessner, None; Rebecca Lessner, None
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2013, Vol.54, 1108. doi:
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      Erin Lessner, Rebecca Lessner; Incidence of Endophthalmitis After Wearing Surgical Masks During Intravitreal Injections. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):1108.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose: To assess whether wearing surgical masks during intravitreal injections reduces the incidence of endophthalmitis.

Methods: This retrospective chart review compares the rate of endophthalmitis in 25 patients following intravitreal injections performed by a physician wearing a surgical mask and in 25 patients when a mask was not worn. The same physician performed each of the 50 intravitreal injections in this study. Patients were pre-treated with a fourth generation fluoroquinolone four times a day for four days before their intravitreal injection. Patients used a fourth generation fluoroquinolone four times a day for four days post injection. The same sterile preparation and superior temporal intravitreal injection technique was used in all 50 procedures. Each patient was given endophthalmitis precautions and instructed to call the clinic immediately if such symptoms occurred. Each patient had a follow up exam within a 4-8 week period.

Results: There were no reported cases of endophthalmitis in either arm of the study. There were no cases of respiratory infections in patients receiving injections or in the physician administering injections. The physician delivering each injection did not talk during the procedure when a mask was not worn. There was no difference in the number of endophthalmitis cases after intravitreal injection in either the masked or unmasked patient groups.

Conclusions: This study suggests wearing a surgical mask does not significantly alter the risk of endophthalmitis following an intravitreal injection. A cost-benefit analysis of wearing surgical masks to prevent the risk of endophthalmitis in a larger prospective randomized control study should be performed. Further studies may consider analyzing the benefit of wearing a mask when a physician performing an intravitreal injection has a respiratory infection. Routine precautions such as not talking during the procedure should continue to be followed in future investigations when masks are not worn. This study used topical antibiotics before and after each intravitreal injection without any cases of endophthalmitis. The risk of bacterial resistance when topical antibiotics are used in this fashion compared to the risk of endophthalmitis should continue to be studied.

Keywords: 513 endophthalmitis • 561 injection • 688 retina  

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