Ansell Healthcare, Red Bank, NJ, a manufacturer of barrier protective health care products, advises orthodontists that they should take the following precautions to prevent contacting or spreading methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the bacterium invulnerable to first-line antibiotics that can cause life-threatening infections.
1) Hand-washing: Wash hands immediately after gloves are removed, between patient contacts, and when otherwise indicated in order to avoid transfer of microorganisms to other patients or environments.
2) Gloves: Wear gloves manufactured with proper barrier-protection materials when touching blood, body fluid, secretions, excretions, and contaminated items; put on clean gloves just before touching mucous membranes and nonintact skin. Change gloves between tasks and procedures on the same patient after contact with material that may contain a high concentration of microorganisms. Remove gloves promptly after use, before touching noncontaminated items and environmental surfaces, and before going to another patient. Wash hands immediately to avoid transfer of microorganisms to other patients or environments.
3) Masks, eye protection, and face shields: Wear a standard surgical mask and eye protection or a face shield to protect mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and mouth during procedures and activities that are likely to generate splashes or sprays.
When in doubt, health care personnel should always follow the standard precautions developed by the CDC.
For more information regarding how to pick the right glove for the right task, contact Ansell.