COVID-19 Pandemic: Survey of future use of personal protective equipment in optometric practice.Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2020 06; 43(3):208-210.CL
The aim of this project was to evaluate which personal protective equipment (PPE) eye care practitioners (ECP) will use during the next months and also what they will ask the patient to use in clinical practice.
A social-media survey was carried out, asking 257 optometrists and opticians in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (i) which PPE they intended to use in the future (after lockdown and before herd immunity and / or vaccine availability) and (ii) what they would ask the patient to do in terms of this.
75 % of the ECPs planned on wearing masks during refractions and 69 % when fitting contact lens. 62 % of the ECPs also expected their patients to wear masks in these tasks. This number is higher than for distance tasks such as fitting frames. Around 90 % of the ECPs would, in addition to hand washing, disinfect their hands and around 80 % expected their patients to do so too. Less than one third of ECPs favoured wearing safety spectacles, gloves and / or protective facial shields. 73 % planed on disinfecting frames after they would have been tried on by customers.
In summary, most ECPs planed on continuing to use higher standards of PPE. Those, who intended to wear masks themselves, would ask their patients to also do so, combined with hand disinfection.