Original Article

Can we provide enough hygiene in outpatient clinics?

  • Ayça Sarı
  • Gülden Ersöz
  • Ufuk Adıgüzel
  • Sevim Karaçorlu
  • Güliz Saraç

Turk J Ophthalmol 2009;39(2):91-95


To evaluate the contamination rates of ophthalmology staff’s hands, eye drops and examination instruments and to emphasize the precautions which can be taken for more hygienic oupatient clinics conditions.


Commonly used eye drops, biomicroscope, applanation tonometer, ultrasonography, pachymeter probe, Goldmann’s 3 mirror lens and dominant hands of the ophthalmology staff were sampled in liquid culture medium by the “Hospital Infection Control Commitee”. The microbiological results were shared with the staff, an education about the necessary precautions for more hygienic conditions was given and cultures were repeated 3 months later.


Following the education of the staff the pracautions taken were: use of 70% isopropyl alcohol hand rubs after every examination, cleaning the surfaces of the examination instruments with 70% ethyl alcohol, keeping the tips of the eye drops closed and replacing them in every 3 weeks. In the first sampling of the hands, 50% was culture positive for Methycilline Sensitive Staphylococcus Aureus, which decreased to 16% in the second sampling. Gram (-) bacilli were cultured in 4 of the 14 examination instruments, which decreased to one in the second sampling. One of the 5 eye drops was culture positive for Pseudomanas aeruginosa and none was cultured positively in the second sampling.


Patients examined in outpatient clinics are under risk of contamination not only from other infected patients, but also from staff’s hands, used eye drops and examination instruments. In busy outpatient conditions, being more attentive in hand washing, instrument disinfection and appropriate storing of the eye drops will prevent a decrease in both ocular and systemic morbidity.

Keywords: ophthalmology outpatient clinic, disinfection, hygiene, contamination