By: Dr. Travis Coulter
Aerosols. If you're like me you've probably heard that word more in the last couple of months than you have your entire career up to this point. But obviously, it’s not new. The oral cavity is inhabited by more than 700 microbial species, including fungi, and yes viruses! 1,2,3
How can a person discuss viruses these days without mentioning SARS-CoV-2? I know, you probably don’t care to read one more thing about Covid-19. We get that. We aren’t here to educate you on viruses or any other airborne microbe for that matter. We are here to help with one piece of the puzzle that forms from us treating our patients with sedation and it has to do with aerosols and universal precautions. All of us professionals involved in healthcare are fully aware that anytime a contaminated surface contacts any other surface, that surface is now considered contaminated as well.
But when we take a piece of paper out in an operatory during a patient’s treatment session we now have to consider that piece of paper contaminated. Because at minimum it was exposed to aerosols and likely droplets of sputum or blood. And yet, upon completing a procedure, most offices take that lovely, perfectly legible (uh, ahem!) piece of paper straight to the billing personnel. We smile at them so kindly and hand them our most precious piece of artwork that is secretly laced with whichever microbe happened to get launched from the oral surgical field and ever so innocently land on that cherished piece of papyrus.
The beloved piece of paper I’m referring to is our sedation records or charts or whatever you refer to them as. We all appreciate and care for our team members. Never would we want them to contract something from handing them a contaminated piece of paper so, why do practitioners continue to do just that?
We, here at AnesthesiaCharting.com, felt it was due to a lack of options, so we did something about it. A sedation record that is completely on a digital platform solves this problem beautifully. No paper is needed and you can reduce the risk of spreading an infection, like Coronavirus.
We're here to help actually fulfill universal precautions, and not just that, if you're anything like our other happy customers, you'll also like how user friendly and comprehensive it is. You’ve got nothing to lose for trying it… other than exposing other staff to infectious microbes!
Head on over to the app to try it anonymously right here your browser: app.anesthesiacharting.com. Your staff will thank you.
Aas JA, Paster BJ, Stokes LN, Olsen I, Dewhirst FE. Defining the normal bacterial flora of the oral cavity.J Clin Microbiol. 2005;43(11):5721–5732.
Harrel SK, Molinari J. Aerosols and splatter in dentistry: A brief review of the literature and infection control implications.J Am Dent Assoc. 2004;135:429–437.
Scannapieco F. The oral environment. In Lamont R, Hajishengalis G, JenkinsonH, eds.Oral Microbiology and Immunology. 2nd ed. Washington, DC: ASM Press; 2014:51–76