A message from the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP) regarding CDC guidance for single-use disposable facemasks.
The following is a message from the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP) regarding CDC guidance for single-use disposable facemasks.
As a result of the potential mask shortage and vendors rationing supplies, OSAP has received multiple inquiries from the dental community requesting guidance. We reached out to the CDC Division of Oral Health for an updated statement. Following is their response:
CDC's guidance for single-use disposable facemasks has not changed. These masks are tested, and regulated by FDA to be single use, and CDC's position is that facemasks should be worn once and discarded. CDC's specific guidance for facemasks is on page 41 of the Guidelines:
1. Wear a surgical mask and eye protection with solid side shields or a face shield to protect mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and mouth during procedures likely to generate splashing or spattering of blood or other body fluids;
2. Change masks between patients, or during patient treatment if the mask becomes wet.
CDC urges Dental Health Care Personnel (DHCP) concerned about healthcare supply for PPE to monitor Healthcare Supply of Personal Protective Equipment for updated guidance, and to be familiar with the Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations.
If a patient presents with symptoms of a respiratory infection, the Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Health-Care Settings – 2003 notes that DHCP may consider postponing non-emergency or elective dental procedures until a patient is no longer contagious with diseases that may be transmitted through airborne, droplet, or contact transmission (e.g., sneezing, coughing, and contact with skin).
If urgent dental treatment is necessary, DHCP and medical providers should work together to determine the appropriate precautions on a case-by-case basis to avoid the potential spread of diseases among patients, visitors, and staff. Because dental settings are not typically designed to carry out all of the Transmission-Based Precautions that are recommended for hospital and other ambulatory care settings, DHCP and medical providers will need to determine whether the facility is an appropriate setting for the necessary services for a potentially infectious patient.