The control of infectious conditions in healthcare facilities of every variety is an ongoing battle that requires non-stop conscientious vigilance. One of the greatest risks to the front line healthcare professionals working in these environments is typically the result of accidental splashes of contaminated fluids, and other agents, coming into contact with mucous membranes of the eyes and face.
Protective face and eyewear have evolved as the most effective line of defense in the battle to prevent such occurrences. However, being aware of these types of safety mechanisms is only half the battle. Let's take a look at four steps that can help these devices be even more efficient in preventing infections and accidents among healthcare workers.
5 Steps to Improve Protection Procedures
Having the proper protective equipment is the most important single measure that can be taken when working in risky situations involving contaminants and infectious agents of all types. However, simply having general access to such equipment often isn't enough. Here are some important things that can help make protective face and eyewear work even better.
Make it convenient – Healthcare workers may frequently find themselves in situations in which they need eye protection quickly, but don't have the luxury of searching for where the nearest eye-shield is located. Often, they may be in an unfamiliar location or room, and simply do not know where to look. So the first step is ensuring that all types of eye protection are readily accessible anywhere they might be needed. Placing them widely throughout a facility, in easy to access dispensers, can solve this potential problem.
Purchase ready-to-use eye protection – There are often emergency situations in medical facilities in which time is of the essence. At moments like these, having easy access to ready-to-use protective eyewear is important. These devices provide the flexibility needed to adapt to the various situations that constantly arise in the healthcare delivery process.
If you are going to wear a mask, wear eye protection too! – Face masks do not protect all exposed mucous membranes. The mucous membranes of the eye are a prime entry point for contamination. Protective eyewear needs to wrap around to the sides of the face and be used in conjunction with face masks to cover all of the eyes, nose, and mouth to reduce splash exposure risk to the mucous membranes of the face.
Ensure that liquids cannot pass through protective material – It is also important to be aware that some face masks are appropriate for air filtration, but not for stopping the passage of liquids through the mask. In a clinical environment where inadvertent splashes or spray may occur, it is essential that protective face and eyewear provide liquid resistance properties, so that contaminants – such as blood and saliva – cannot pass through and contact the health worker's mucous membranes and skin.
Use Disposable PPE items one time only - It may be tempting to reuse a product that is well made, sturdy and comfortable in a cost-saving effort. However, to reduce the risk of cross-contamination, please be sure to properly dispose of single-use items after each use. Disposable products provide greater assurance of infection prevention than re-usable products. Studies, like Eyewear Contamination Levels in the OR, have found pathogenic bioburden on both disposable and reusable protective eyewear after just one use. Yet, eyewear cannot be effectively decontaminated with 100% assurance.
Keep in mind that it isn't only infectious liquids that present a danger in clinical environments. Healthcare workers are also routinely surrounded by drugs and chemical agents that can cause serious harm if they wind up in someone's eyes, nose or mouth.
The bottom line is that protective face and eyewear is the front line in guarding against some of the most dangerous threats to the safety of occupational health professionals as they carry out their routine activities in various clinics and medical facilities.
Awarded for innovation in medical products packaging design, TIDI Products provides the TIDI Tower Dispensing System for strategic placement in PPE donning areas. Each dispenser box contains 25 pre-assembled TIDIShield Grab ‘n Go™ Eye Shields to make finding and wearing eye protection simple for the clinical staff. Properly utilizing PPE - including protective eyewear - when caring for patients, can lower the risk of contamination and infection transmission.