Situations of increased concern - transmission via a contaminated object
- Patient groups that have been identified as being at greater than normal risk of developing transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) include:
- patients with a family history of CJD or other prion disease
- recipients of pituitary derived hormones such as human growth hormone or gonadotrophins
- patients who have had surgery on the brain or spinal cord, or
- patients who have, since 1980, received more than 50 units of blood or have received blood or blood components on more than 20 occasions.
Examining a patient in a high-risk group
- Before carrying out any procedure that might involve the re-use of a contact lens or ophthalmic device you should, as far as possible, question the patient to establish if they fall into any of the above high-risk groups. If the patient is in a high-risk group you must only use items intended for single patient use. If this is not possible you should consider referring the patient to the Hospital Eye Service.
- If you use a re-usable item in an emergency with a patient in one of the above high-risk groups you should discard it immediately after use.
- If you examine a patient with a known transmissible infection, you should:
153 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2017) Healthcare-associated infections: prevention and control in primary and community care. Clinical Guideline 139 [Accessed 14 Feb 2018]