Oculoplastic surgeons should consider eye protection with patients having known blood-borne disease.

   According to research by Andrew W. Stacey, MD, of Riverside Methodist Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, and colleagues, oculoplastic surgeons should consider eye protection with patients having known blood-borne disease due to the risk of ocular blood spatter.

   To assess intraoperative blood splatter to ocular surface and adnexa, five surgeons and multiple assistants wore 183 eye shields during 72 surgeries. Postoperatively, a luminol blood detection system was used to identify blood splatter. Blood was detected on 55% of eye shields. Surgeons (59%) were splattered more often than resident/fellows (55%) and scrubs (51%). Shields worn during orbitotomy were most likely to be splattered (82%). Surgeon ability was “negatively affected” by shields in 42% of cases.     

   According to the researchers, mucocutaneous transmission of HIV and hepatitis has been documented in the literature. These results suggest that oculoplastic surgeons should consider appropriate eye protection with patients having known blood-borne disease.