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A dental practice in Massachusetts was cited for six serious respiratory protection violations, including for “failing to provide medical evaluations and fit testing for employees required to wear N-95 respirators as protection against the coronavirus,” according to an OSHA news release.
Some dental professionals are facing a new set of challenges from wearing additional personal protective equipment as they adapt to providing care in the COVID-19 era. Here are some of the most common conditions to be aware of and tips to help alleviate the discomfort.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention no longer recommends that dental care personnel “wait 15 minutes after completion of clinical care and exit of each patient without suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to begin to clean and disinfect room surfaces.”
After reviewing tests showing that authorized respirators manufactured in China can “vary in their design and performance,” the FDA chose to remove certain products from its list of respirators that can be decontaminated for reuse during the current public health emergency.
Residents of nine counties in California are now under orders to shelter-in-place for three weeks to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus. The orders took effect the morning of March 17 in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, which currently have the largest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state.
CDA Practice Support has received inquiries from CDA members and staff regarding the recent spread of the new coronavirus to California. In China, the virus has affected more than 8,000 people and killed more than 200, prompting the World Health Organization to declare a global health emergency to mobilize resources to contain the spread of the disease.
A new safety sharps product, the Verena Solutions SimpleCAP, is available to dentists and can be purchased from most major suppliers. Dental practices are required by the Cal/OSHA bloodborne pathogens regulation to regularly evaluate the appropriateness of using safety sharps with the goal of reducing needlesticks and other “sharps” injuries that can cause exposure to bloodborne pathogens.
Dentists have an ethical and legal obligation to do no harm and to protect the health of their patients. But what happens when their patients put others at risk? Such is the dilemma faced by some practice owners who have called The Dentists Insurance Company’s Risk Management Advice Line with questions regarding their obligation to treat unvaccinated patients. At the core of this dilemma is the return of a disease previously believed to have been eliminated: measles.
A new law to ensure proper irrigation and disinfection of exposed pulpal tissue went into effect Jan. 1 of this year. As explained in a December 2018 Update article, the law states that water and other methods used for irrigation when performing procedures on exposed dental pulp must be “sterile or contain recognized disinfecting or antibacterial properties.”