Zika. Ebola. HIV. Staphylococcus, Herpes Simplex, Hepatitis B – some of the scariest words in the English language. While Infection prevention is a top priority, a precaution that may be short-changed in a busy practice’s daily routine is the proper disinfection of the tonometer.
Some microorganisms live for days, weeks, or months on an improperly cleaned surface. MRSA, for example, can survive for longer periods when surfaces are good for bacterial growth. Factors like temperature, humidity, the amount of germs present, the availability of nutrients, and type of surface also affect a microorganism’s lifespan.
Adenovirus can live for several days, and HBV can live for seven days in a dried state. It’s very important that infection prevention measures are followed in a consistent manner for each patient, no matter what the diagnosis.
The first line of defense for your tonometer tips is to examine them for chips or cracks. Any tip that obviously looks damaged should be discarded. Replacement tips can be purchased from Bell. Also, Haag-Streit offers a guideline for disinfecting the tips. Follow this link for more information:
As an alternative, you can protect your patients and your staff with a non-contact tonometer. Because there’s no physical contact with the patient, the risk of cross infection is eliminated. Call or email us to see a demo of these instruments from Topcon, Canon or Reichert. Or learn more on our website.