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Disinfection of tonometer

Poster Details

First Author: C.Porcar Plana SPAIN

Co Author(s):    E. Navarro Hernandez   J. Moya Roca   E. Campos   M. Puzo Bayod           

Abstract Details


To examine the efficacy of various disinfection methods for reusable tonometer prisms in eye care according to the main infectious agents.


Hospital Virgen de los Lirios, Alcoy-Spain.


Research literature in the PubMed and the Cochrane Library databases for investigations. In total, 11 studies were deemed relevant for this systematic review.


Direct contact between the tonometer and the eye may contribute to cross infection between patients. The most frequently infectious agents involved are adenovirus and herpes simplex virus (HSV). Human immunodeficiency virus 1, hepatitis C virus and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, have also been described. After sodium hypochlorite desinfection, adenovirus was undetectable, but with 70% isopropyl alcohol viable virus wasn´t eradicated in all studies. In all studies HSV was eradicated with both sodium hypochlorite and 70% isopropyl alcohol. Ethanol, 70% isopropyl alcohol, dilute bleach, and mechanical cleaning all lack the ability to remove cellular debris completely, necessary to prevent prion transmission.


The available evidence demonstrated that the use of tonometers contributes to the transmission of these infectious diseases in vitro. Sodium hypochlorite offers effective disinfection against adenovirus and HSV, the viruses commonly associated with nosocomial outbreaks in eye care. Future research studies regarding infectious disease transmission through tonometry and sterilization techniques should be completed to more adequately inform. Protocolize desinfection of tonometers will minimize nosocomial eye infections and help us to develop best practices to protect our patients.

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