Research Article
Volume 11 Issue 9 - 2020
Slit Lamp Barrier Shield as a Means of Protection against Respiratory Droplets
Sepehr Bahadorani*, Kellaway Judianne, Thayer Jessica, Johnson Daniel A, Isteitiya Jihad and Sohn Jeong-Hyeon
Department of Ophthalmology and Long School of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, United States
*Corresponding Author: Sepehr Bahadorani, Department of Ophthalmology and Long School of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, United States.
Received: July 25, 2020; Published: August 31, 2020




Abstract

Purpose: The general arrangement of slit lamp biomicroscopy requires close proximity of the patient and physician, which raises the risk of respiratory droplet exposure to both parties. Here we propose the use of protective plastic barrier shield as a means of preventing respiratory droplet exposure during ophthalmic examination with a slit lamp.

Methods: Detailed measurements are taken of the Haag-Streit slit lamp instrument and an electronic die cutting machine is used to create openings for the biomicroscope oculars from clear sheets of plastic (0.020 thickness × 8.5 - 9 width × 11 - 11.5 height inches). Once the plastic barrier sheet shield is placed onto the slit lamp binoculars, a spray bottle containing a fluorescein solution is used to spray from the chin rest towards the examiner while a sheet of paper with an examiner’s image is positioned on the examiner’s side. This spray simulates the respiratory droplet exposure to health care personnel from infectious patients. Spraying the fluorescein solution is performed with and without the presence of the protective plastic barrier shield, after which the amount of fluorescein staining on the paper face model is assessed using Wood’s lamp.

Results: Placement of a slit lamp barrier shield markedly reduces the amount of exposure from respiratory droplets between patients and examiners. This set up is also applicable to other commonly-used ophthalmic devices such as optical coherence tomography (OCT) machine and could potentially help in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other airborne infectious agents among ophthalmic personnel and their patients.

Conclusion: Considering the effectiveness of slit lamp shield in containing the spread of aerosolized droplets, the inclusion of these protective barriers, particularly in the advent of COVID-19 pandemic, is highly recommended.

Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; Droplet; Airborne; Aerosol; Transmisión; Slit Lamp; Optical Coherence Tomography; OCT; Shield; Barrier

Citation: Sepehr Bahadorani., et al. “Slit Lamp Barrier Shield as a Means of Protection against Respiratory Droplets”. EC Ophthalmology 11.9 (2020): 46-49.

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