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Wearing face mask may reduce endophthalmitis after intravitreal injection

Posted on January 17, 2022

The use of face masks by the doctor, ancillary staff, and patient during intravitreal injections is associated with a reduced rate of endophthalmitis compared with the standard of care, according to a presentation by Sunir J. Garg, MD, FACS at Hawaiian Eye.

Dr Garg presented data from a recent retrospective study that evaluated universal face mask use on post-injection endophthalmitis rates, a practice that has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the cohort study, 505,968 intravitreal injections administered in 110,547 eyes from October 1, 2019, to July 31, 2020, were divided into a “no face mask” group (n = 294,514) if the patients or doctor did not wear a face mask during the injections and a “universal face mask” group (n = 211,454) if doctor, ancillary staff, and patient worse a mask during injections. In the “no face mask” group, there were 0.0289% cases of presumed endophthalmitis; 0.0092% cases of culture-positive endophthalmitis; and 0.001% cases of oral flora–associated endophthalmitis.

In the “universal face mask” group, there were 0.0213% cases of presumed endophthalmitis; 0.004% cases of culture-positive endophthalmitis; and 0.0005% cases of oral flora–associated endophthalmitis.

Reference
Garg SJ. What intravitreal injections have taught us about endophthalmitis. Presented at: Hawaiian Eye.

Writing committee for the Post-Injection Endophthalmitis Study Group, Patel SN, Tang PH, et al. The Influence of Universal Face Mask Use on Endophthalmitis Risk after Intravitreal Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Injections. Ophthalmol. 2021;128(11):1620-1626. doi:10.1016/j.ophtha.2021.05.010

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