May 23, 2019

Joint Commission issues Quick Safety on disinfection of tonometers, other ophthalmology devices

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

The Joint Commission on May 21 issued Quick Safety 49: Disinfection of tonometers and other ophthalmology devices.

The Joint Commission noted that the American Academy of Ophthalmology has reported that transmission of adenovirus and herpes simplex virus HIV, hepatitis C virus, enterovirus 70, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Acanthamoeba, and prions such as those that cause Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, could occur from failing to adequately disinfect ophthalmology devices.


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Items that touch mucous membranes, such as the eye, must be, at a minimum, high-level disinfected. Items that contact or enter sterile tissue, such as surgical instruments, or touch an ulcerated cornea must be sterile.

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