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    5 considerations for personal protective equipment

    Wearing personal protective equipment is crucial, but if you’re not using it correctly, you could be doing more harm than good.

     

    Patient protection

    Patient protection

    Clinicians are not the only ones who should wear PPE. Patients also need a layer of protection.

    “That would mean protective eyewear for your patients during any and all procedures,” says Marie Fluent, DDS, an educational consultant for the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP). “Eye protection is not regulated by OSHA for patients, but it is a best practice. There have been instances where the patient has received eye injuries due to not wearing personal protective equipment.”

    Related reading: 6 scary consequences of not following good infection control practices

    She mentions the 2013 case of Jenn Morrone, a New Jersey woman who suffered serious injury because she was not wearing eye protection.

    “She was receiving a root canal procedure, and while the doctor was passing a syringe, it was dropped and the needle pierced her eye,” Dr. Fluent says. “Her eye became infected, and despite the best efforts of healthcare providers, she lost her eye and she has a permanent prosthesis as a result of that. Obviously, this is unintended and a complete accident, but personal eye protection for the patient would have absolutely prevented this injury from happening.”

    While Morrone’s case was extreme, it still underscores the need for proper patient protection.

    “Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident,” Dr. Fluent says. “There are other incidents out there that have occurred due to patients not wearing PPE. Fortunately, it is rare and fortunately, it is very preventable.”

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    Robert Elsenpeter
    Robert Elsenpeter is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Dental Products Report and Digital Esthetics. He is also the author ...

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