What kind of infection control should an audiologist implement when working with patients who have Hepatitis B?
A: With patients with Hepatitis B, you follow the Universal (Standard) precautions as those were designed to minimize or eliminate the spread of disease. These include: wearing appropriate personal barriers (gloves, masks, eye protection, gowns) when performing procedures that may expose to infectious agents;washing hands before and after every patient contact and after glove removal;precleaning and disinfecting "touch" and "splash" surfaces;sterilizing critical instruments;properly disposing of infectious waste. With very few exceptions, these precautions should be followed with every patient, regardless of whether or not the patient has Hepatitis B or another known infectious disease.
For more information, refer to the publications Infection Control in the Audiology Clinic, Infection Control in the Hearing Aid Clinic available through Oaktree Products Inc., or to the online courses, Infection Control - Putting the Pedal to the Sterilized Metal and Infection Control - HIV, the Immune System and Developing Written Protocols
Thank you for your question.
A.U. Bankaitis, Ph.D., is Vice President of Oaktree Products, Inc of St. Louis, MO, a multi-line distributor of hearing health care products intended for use in the clinical environment or for resale to patients, currently providing over 3100 items to professionals worldwide. Dr. Bankaitis earned her doctorate from the University of Cincinnati in 1995 where her funded research investigated the effects of varying degrees of HIV on the auditory system. This research naturally led to the area of infection control. Dr. Bankaitis is considered one of the leading experts in this area as it pertains to the hearing industry, authoring numerous infection control publications including the popular text book Infection Control in the Audiology Clinic.
More information about Oaktree Products, Inc. can be found by visiting the Oaktree Web Channel on AudiologyOnline or at www.oaktreeproducts.com. Stay current on the latest happenings at Oaktree on Facebook and Twitter!