Looking sharp

As sharps become more common in optometric practice, Léa Surugue shows how to handle the risks.

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Optometric practices are now providing an expanded scope of service in the treatment and management of eye diseases and injuries. In practice, this might mean using techniques and procedures relying on medical devices that may cause injuries if they are not handled properly or pose an increased risk for transmission of infectious diseases (Tyhurst and Hettler, 2009). How can practices address the risk of “sharps” injuries?

Preventing injury

Mike Horler MCOptom, Director of Specsavers Brighton and Head of Enhanced Optical Services, says: “The use of sharps in optometric practice is fairly rare but is increasingly being commissioned and undertaken as more practitioners become independent prescribers [IPs]. These devices, such as Alger brushes and needles, are used mainly for corneal foreign body removal. To do this within a practice, rather than at an eye hospital in England and Wales, you have to be part of an NHS-commissioned scheme or have undertaken appropriate training as part of an IP course.”

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