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Rigorous hygiene practices are vital in the quest to prevent the occurrence of endophthalmitis following cataract surgery, the UKISCRs XXXV Congress meeting heard. Christopher Liu FRCOphth, consultant ophthalmic surgeon, sussex Eye hospital, told delegates that prevention is better than cure and there are a number of key precautionary measures that can be taken to minimise endophthalmitis risk factors. Dr Liu emphasised the importance of absolute cleanliness at all times, starting with the surgeon himself, to the scrub nurse, to the theatre, to the instruments, the patient and their follow-up carers. “For the surgeon the first scrub is meant to be five minutes.

Povidone-iodine 10 per cent detergent would be a good agent. Keep your nails short and clean and always assume that the gloves have perforations, even when you put them on, as there is a perforation rate that is allowed for glove manufacturers. Try not to touch the tips of the instruments and make sure when you wear your facemask that your nose and chin are covered and try to avoid talking as much as possible. If you sneeze, don’t turn to one side, step back and sneeze forward. Excessive movements should also be avoided,” Dr Liu advised. “It is also really important that instruments are cleaned before sterilisation otherwise the proteins and so on will simply be baked onto the instruments,” he noted, adding that air quality is another important aspect of hygiene control.

Colin Kerr
Executive Editor,
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