Infection Control Policy

The use of appropriate hygiene procedures and precautions to prevent exposure to and reduce the risk of transmission of infectious diseases within the testing area is essential. Strict hygiene must be observed when dealing with patients – particular attention must be paid to any equipment with which they come into contact.Chinrests and headrests on slit lamps, field screeners, keratometers, tonometers, autorefractors, fundus cameras or any other equipment should be cleaned with a sterile wipe before use by each patient.

Similarly, the bridge and sides of trial frames and forehead and cheek rests of refractor (phoropter) heads should be cleaned anew for each patient.Items coming into contact with a patient’s eye must not be reused.

Disposable tonometer prisms must be used when performing contact tonometry using either a Perkins or Goldmann tonometer, and any permanent tonometer prisms must be removed from the domiciliary set.Alternatively, in accordance with College of Optometrists guidelines, permanent tonometer prisms may be soaked in 2% sodium hypochlorite (Milton) solution for 60 minutes between uses, although this does not guarantee protection against the transmission of vCJD. Disposable sleeves must be used with Tonopens and a new probe must be used for each patient when using an i-Care.

Liquid antibacterial soap and paper towels, if available, are recommended. Alcohol based hand cleansers must be used in the absence of soap and water. Fabric towels should not be used.

Diagnostic solutions such as sterile saline or contact lens soaking solutions must be clearly marked with the date first used. They must always be stored with caps on and not used beyond the recommended dates.Single-dose eye drops such as minims must only be used once and then discarded. It is the responsibility of all healthcare professionals to comply with the above instruction.