Surveillance and Technology
Concurrent Education Session - 60 minutes
While accreditation focus is increasing in dental infection control, there is uncertainty in the scientific literature regarding how the oral environment affects infection and how appropriate controls may differ from controls in a sterile clinical environment. In particular, dental HAI has not been clearly defined and differs from clinical definitions that include breach of sterile tissue as a fundamental requirement for most parenteral infections. The oral environment, on the other hand, has gradations of mucosal tissue abrasions and breaches, where there is no clear breach of sterile tissue. Further, saliva has known immunological properties as well as physical-chemical properties that exert a protective effect against infection.
Oral environment characteristics should drive a different approach for HAI surveillance and follow-up protocols, but there is little guidance on how surveillance in the dental environment should be conducted, or how follow-up protocols should be standardized. This session will focus on considerations IPs must give when addressing IPC issues in the dental environment and provide an overview of the implications for patient safety and IPC.