Working in the area of patient treatment and safety requires that everyone involved is protected with safety equipment. This reduces exposure of the staff and the patients to infections being spread. Protective face and eyewear is very important in maintaining safe patient handling.
Personal Protective Equipment
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) safeguards staff and patients from transmitting infections and illness to others that come into contact with them. Medical staff may not be aware of a patient's condition when they first come into contact with them. PPE reduces risk of the staff being exposed to infections and protects other patients from staff transmitting infections from patient to patient.
How Protective Face and Eyewear Works
The CDC recommends that medical staff wears protective face and eye shields to reduce potential exposure to blood and bodily fluids that may be infectious. Regular glasses and contacts do not provide the appropriate level of protection required to reduce splash exposure to the mucous membranes of the eye. There are many types of protective face and eyewear that provide different levels of protection for various applications. When choosing personal protective wear, it is important to review the procedure that will be performed and the potential for splash exposure.
The CDC wants healthcare workers to be familiar with the various types of eye protection available for different applications and procedures. Healthcare workers should understand that regular prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses are not considered eye protection. On the average, hospital occupational health departments report about 4 to 5 eye splash exposure incidents per month demonstrating there is a need for better compliance with use of eye and face protection.
Types of Protective Face and Eyewear Available
Fitted, indirectly vented goggles offer protection from splashes and sprays. They are effective at reducing exposure risk to the eyes from splashes and sprays, but not the rest of the face. Generally, they are non-disposable which means they must undergo rigorous decontamination before re-use. Studies have shown disinfection of reusable eyewear is not reliable and despite disinfection, use of the reusable eyewear may increase contact contamination risk.
Full Face with Respirators
These are for respiratory protection, but they provide a very high level of eye protection as well. If the situation requires respiratory protection, this type of PPE may protect the eyes and face very well. Similar to the previously mentioned goggles, these items are non-disposable and must undergo rigorous decontamination and disinfection prior to re-use.
Safety glasses are more for impact protection rather than protection from splash or sprays. They are not designed to be used in an infectious risk situation.
Disposable face shields that feature crown and chin protection with a shield that wraps around close to the ears, may significantly reduce the exposure to the face and eyes in high splash risk situations. When properly disposed of, they eliminate the potential of cross-contamination associated with reusable items.
Disposable eye shields reduce splash exposure risk to the front and sides of the eyes. They come in a variety of models and packaging to address the concerns of compliance, access, comfort, ease of use, and cost.
The TIDIShield Grab ‘n Go™ Eye Shield for when compliance and/or time is of the essence - such as in the ED, the OR or Labor & Delivery. The TIDIShield Grab ‘n Go™ EyeShields are provided in the proprietary TIDI Tower, a convenient dispenser units that can be strategically placed within departments at PPE donning stations, thereby enhancing compliance of protective eyewear use with easy to access, easy to use eye protection.
The TIDIShield Flip ‘n Go™, which provides a great combination of ease of preparation with minimal storage space being required; and
The TIDIShield™ Assemble 'n Go™ Eye Shield, an eye protection product that can be used when there is time to prepare for use - such as areas with pre-scheduled patient encounters.
Feel free to call us to discuss how we can help meet your eye protection needs.