Eye Protection: Survey of Dermatologists and Office Staff

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Splash injuries to mucosal membranes during procedures have been well documented in dermatology and carry a potential risk of blood-borne virus transmission. The risk to the ocular mucosa can be minimized with proper eye protection.

OBJECTIVE

To examine the prevalence of wearing eye protection during dermatologic procedures by physicians, trainees, and office staff in dermatology.

METHODS

A Cross-sectional observational study of US dermatologists, residents, nurses, and medical assistants was performed regarding eye protection during dermatologic procedures.

RESULTS

The rates of wearing eye protection in every dermatologic procedure are as follows: dermatologists 42.3%, residents/fellows 39.6%, and nurses/medical assistants 25%. Ninety-eight percent of respondents thought blood-borne illnesses could be transmitted by splash injury. The rates of having splash injury during your career are as follows: dermatologists 73.1%, residents/fellows 16.7%, and nurses/medical assistants 50%. The rates of having a splash injury within the last year are as follows: dermatologists 11.5%, residents/fellows 8.3%, and nurses/medical assistants 35.7%.

CONCLUSION

The use of eye protection is an important component of the personal protective equipment to help prevent transmission of blood-borne illnesses. Dermatologists and staff should strive to increase awareness and the use of face masks with eye shields or face mask with separate eye protection in every dermatologic procedure.

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