How often have you de-gloved after a patient only to realise you have obtained the smallest scratch mark on your hand? What do you do? Give it a thorough washing and think nothing more of it? Does your practice have a protocol in place if a needle-stick injury occurs?
In September of last year Dr Will Coulter spoke to all VDPs on the topic of cross infection control as part of our day release programme. More recently, Dr Martin Fulford spoke at the IDA conference held in Wexford on the same topic. Both were equally informative and thought-provoking.
At undergraduate level, in Cork Dental School and Hospital, our training in cross infection control was second to none. Every surface area of our assigned units was decontaminated before and after each patient: burs, suction tips, matrix bands, polishing cups and brushes, as well as endodontic hand files, were all limited to single use and disposed of thereafter. All instrumentation underwent stringent cleaning and sterilisation by CSSD staff and could be traced back to source if necessary. In dental practice today, is this the norm or the exception?