Basic safeguards against the Coronavirus
Coronavirus is a concern with everyone, especially the healthcare profession. When it comes to dentistry, we do not have the screening resources like the medical profession, so it’s a good idea to review the basics.
Wash hands with soap and water frequently, more than you usually do. When water and soap are not available, use an alcohol-based healthcare grade sanitizer. Avoid making contact with your face (nose, mouth, and eyes)before you wash your hands.
Keep treatment room counters free of excess items, have only the essential out. Take the necessary time to disinfect surfaces properly.
Personal Protective Equipment
PPE is not an option. Know what you need, how to use it, and it’s limitations. The first person PPE protects is YOU.
FYI, an N95 mask offers better protection against the Coronavirus than a standard general-purpose or surgical mask. Ask your dental supply representative for N95 mask selection and options.
Do not store, prepare, or consume food items (includes drinks) in areas that are contaminated or harmful chemicals are present.
Do not store or apply cosmetic items in areas that are contaminated or harmful chemicals are present.
A cell phone is an excellent platform for disease and promotes cross-contamination. Cell phones should not be allowed in the treatment room, sterilization, labs, supply storage, restrooms, office area, and eating areas like the staff lounge.
Conduct a Staff Safety Meeting
Review the office policies and procedures regarding the use of personal protective equipment.
Review the manufacture’s instructions on the proper use of surface disinfectants and personal protective equipment.
Review the concept and elements of Standard Precautions, which replaced Universal Precaution for dentistry.
“Treat all body fluids, which includes blood, saliva in a dental procedure, and OPIM (other potentially infectious materials) as if it contains the most infectious disease disregarding the history of the patient.”
Patients that inform you that they have difficulty breathing, have a fever and are coughing should see their medical doctor immediately. Avoid seeing these patients and reschedule.
If you are thinking of screening patients (from china, Chinese, etc.), first consult your malpractice insurance carrier to avoid any discrimination issues.