Minimize the risk of transmitting COVID-19 for you and your patients.
The thought of taking another continuing education course on the subject of Infection Control is never too exciting, but it is an incredibly important subject to review in the light of today’s world.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their situation summary on their website as of February 27, 2020 regarding the Coronavirus. Coronavirus Disease 2019, or COVID-19 as it is now known, has been detected in 50 locations internationally, including cases in the United States. On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern”. While the risk of transmission in the United States is low at this time, all dental professionals need to stay up-to-date on this threat.
The American Dental Association (ADA) has released an informational handout for dental professionals based on the CDC guidelines. It provides guidance on conducting patient assessments and the stresses the importance of adopting hand hygiene protocols and adhering to infection control measures.
We, as dental professionals, must always remain vigilant in our infection control practices, but it is especially important in light of this recent threat. Please take the time to review your infection control practices in your daily practice of dentistry and also in your daily life. Elite’s new Infection Control and Prevention in the Dental Office, 3rd Edition course provides a wonderful refresher on this information.
Below are three measures that need to be taken to minimize the risk of transmitting COVID-19. To protect yourself and your patients, you need to practice:
- Appropriate hand hygiene – make sure to wash your hands with non-antimicrobial soap and water, an alcohol-based hand rub, or antiseptic handwash after possible contact with respiratory secretions and contaminated objects/materials.
- Effective respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette – cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing; preferably with your arm, not your hand. Use the nearest waste receptacle to dispose of the tissue, and perform proper hand hygiene.
- Proper contact precautions – patients with an acute respiratory illness should be identified at check-in and placed in a single-patient room with the door kept close
Following these simple measures will help to minimize the risk of transmitting COVID-19 for you and your patients.