This study analyses the results of face-shield blood spatter contamination at six medical facilities to determine exposure risk when facial protection is not used. Blood spatter exposure was evaluated on the basis of overall incidence, location of spatter on face shields, surgical specialty, risk for operating room staff, length of surgery and volume of blood loss. Six hundred face shields were evaluated for blood spatter contamination by visual inspection as well as by staining with leucomalachite green. The face shield was divided into three regions: Orbital (O-region), Paraorbital (P-region) and Mask (M-region). Visual examination detected blood spatter contamination in 50.5% (303/600) of the face shields, whereas leucomalachite green staining detected blood contamination in 66.0% (396/600). Blood contamination was 36.6% (220/600) in the O-region, 37.8% (227/600) in the P-region and 57.0% (342/600) in the M-region. Among operating room staff, the incidence of blood spatter was greatest among lead surgeons at 83.5% (167/200), followed by the first assistant at 68.5% (137/200) and the scrub nurse at 46.0% (92/200). By specialty, cardiovascular surgery was at highest risk with an incidence of 75.3% (113/150) followed by neurosurgery at 69.3% (104/150), gastrointestinal at 60.0% (90/150) and orthopaedic surgery at 60.0% (90/150).
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