Simple Plastic Glasses Can Protect Orthopedic Surgeons

No need for special equipment to protect against conjunctival contamination
By Jane Parry
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, May 8 (HealthDay News) -- Orthopedic surgeons can best protect themselves from conjunctival contamination during surgery with simple, disposable plastic glasses, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

Alfred A. Mansour III, M.D., and colleagues at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., conducted a study of five different methods of eye protection, as well as no protection, using a simulation model with a mannequin's head in the position of a surgeon's head during femoral osteopathy, performed on cadaver thighs. Contamination of the conjunctiva was tested using modern prescription glasses, standard surgical telescopic loupes, disposable plastic glasses, hard plastic contoured glasses, a facemask and eye shield combination, and a control group with no eye protection.

Although no single method was completely effective, the best results were obtained from using disposable plastic glasses, which yielded a conjunctival contamination rate of just 3 percent versus 17 percent for hard plastic glasses, 30 percent for the facemask and eye shield, 50 percent for the loupes and 83 percent for the control and prescription glasses groups, the researchers discovered.

"We do not recommend that prescription glasses be used as sole eye protection during surgical procedures, especially those involving a high rate of debris expulsion from the wound," the authors write."

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