Recent events have highlighted the need for vigilance in infection control. In response to the growing number of inquiries from dental professionals, Sultan Healthcare, a supplier of a line of Infection Prevention products, wanted to take this opportunity to respond to those inquiries.
The CDC general infection control recommendations are based on Standard Precautions, including but not limited to hand hygiene and the use of PPE, environmental surface disinfection and instrument processing.
Sultan Healthcare carries soaps and handwashes for hand hygiene, including Moist-Sure Foaming Sanitizer which contains 62% ethyl alcohol and is effective against MRSA in 5 seconds. It may be used as a surgical scrub or as a handwash, in accordance with the instructions for use. Hand hygiene should be performed as recommended by the CDC for routine and surgical procedures.
Appropriate PPE includes the use of gloves, masks, protective eyewear with side shields/face shields, and gowns. These protect skin and mucous membranes from exposure to infective pathogens. The Com-fit Plush masks from Sultan Healthcare are available in ASTM 1-3; those labelled ASTM 3 provide the highest level of protection, with the greatest particulate and bacterial filtration efficiency as well as the highest level of fluid resistance. Masks should be changed out if they are damp, between patients, during longer procedures and in the case of aerosol-generating procedures more frequently.
The CDC recently issued interim guidelines for hospitals with suspected or known Ebola cases, including environmental surface disinfection in rooms of patients with suspected or confirmed Ebola virus infection. Although there is a low likelihood of a contagious (sick) patient visiting the dental office, the CDC interim guidelines on environmental surface disinfection are to use appropriate PPE (which includes heavy-duty utility gloves during clean-up, not medical or surgical gloves), and to disinfect environmental surfaces with an EPA-registered hospital disinfectant with a label claim for a non-enveloped virus. Ebola is an enveloped virus, which is less resistant to disinfection than a non-enveloped virus, however the CDC recommendation is an extra precaution. Sultan Healthcare carries Lysol I.C. which does carry a claim for non-enveloped viruses.
The CDC has issued guidelines, and collaborated on recommendations for dental professionals with the ADA and OSAP, to prevent the spread of Ebola within the United States. We encourage you to visit their websites for more information.