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Orest M. Krajnyk, Elliot Perlman; Common Disinfection Practices Of Exposed Ophthalmic Equipment By Members Of The New England Ophthalmological Society. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):5552.
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To determine the compliance of the members of the New England Ophthalmological Society with the guidelines of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) regarding the disinfection of exposed ophthalmic equipment and hand hygiene.
An anonymous online survey and paper questionnaire distributed at a single NEOS meeting
There was a 17% response rate (119/700); 4.3% were collected online and 12.7% by paper. Most NEOS members (77%) clean the applanation tip by wiping with alcohol and allowing to air dry when checking intraocular pressures (IOP) in patients in whom viral conjunctivitis was not suspected. In cases where viral conjunctivitis was suspected, IOP was not checked by 28% of responders and 20% of responders disinfected applanation tips by wiping the tips clean with alcohol and allowing the tips to air dry. In regards to hand-cleaning between each patient, 53% responded to 100% compliance and 84.6% reported cleaning hands between patients at least half the time. There was no preference for using hand sanitizers versus washing hands with soap and water between patients.
There was full compliance based on AAO guidelines in regards to disinfecting exposed equipment; however there was only 53% compliance in regards to hand washing between each patient. Based on CDC guidelines, there was not full compliance for hand washing between each patient nor in regards to disinfecting exposed equipment. We recommend using the CDC recommendations of disinfecting applanation tips by soaking the tips between each use for 5-10 minutes in 1:10 diluted bleach, rinsed in tap water and then allowed to air dry. We also recommend hand washing between each patient. Further studies are needed to address which soaking solution is best at disinfecting the applanation tips from adenovirus, HIV, and/or hepatitis viruses.
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