Why is Infection Control important in Dentistry?
A Journal of Infectious Diseases article describes below a patient-to-patient transmission of HBV in a dental setting.
The event occurred in 2001 when a person with acute hepatitis B was reported to a state health department. The state health department's epidemiologic investigation found that the patient had none of the traditional hepatitis B risk factors, but reported having recent oral surgery. An investigation of the oral surgery practice where the patient received dental treatment revealed that another surgical patient seen earlier on that same day was on the state's reportable disease registry for HBV. Molecular epidemiologic techniques indicated transmission of HBV between the two patients.
When investigators later visited the office and monitored its operation, they found that the office followed standard infection control practices and that all staff had been previously vaccinated and were negative for HBV. The investigators could only speculate that a lapse in cleanup procedures had occurred after the source patient, leaving an area contaminated with blood.
Infection Control in Dental Healthcare Settings has to incorporate good OSHA practices to be effective such as:
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