Infection Control – Recent dental surgery breaches

  • July 26, 2015

    Infection Control – Recent dental surgery breaches

    Imagine receiving a letter advising you to have a blood test for blood-borne viruses due to the risk of infection from a dental procedure that you had had. What would you first thoughts be? Would you ever expect to receive a letter such as this in Australia?

    This scenario actually happened this past week in Australia.

    On 2 July 2015, NSW Health released a media statement:

    “NSW HEALTH AND DENTAL COUNCIL OF NSW WARN OF INFECTION CONTROL BREACHES AT FOUR DENTAL SURGERIES”

    In the statement, NSW Health recommended that patients, who had had invasive dental procedures at four private Sydney clinics (the names were stated in the release) over the past several years, to see their GP for testing for blood-borne viruses.

    This recommendation was delivered as result of serious breaches of infection control procedures and sub-standard hygiene at the four named dental practices. The NSW Dental Council also took decisive action and restricted the registration of 12 dentists working at those practices – six practitioners were suspended and the other six practitioners have had restrictions placed on their registration.

    Dental Practice-Infection Control Manuals

    In the latest issue of the Western Articulator (by the ADA WA branch) the CEO, Dr. David Hallett, strongly and clearly reminded all dentists of their requirement to comply with the codes, guidelines and standards set by the Dental Board of Australia, including its Guidelines on infection control’ regardless of their education, clinical competence or experience. This includes the requirement for all dental practices to have a Practice Infection Control manual (ICM).

    Are you familiar with your practice’s Infection Control Manual? Does your practice have such a document?

    If you are heading down the path of accreditation, your practice’s ICM is one of the documents required.  But, even if you are not ready to consider accreditation, make the time for to review your practice’s Infection Control Manual  or develop one as soon as possible.  This will ensure all policies and procedures are up-to-date and that all staff has received appropriate infection control training to minimise or prevent the risk of transmission of infectious diseases.

    Need help to manage your dental accreditation journey?  Amalgamate is available to assist you – contact us via the contact page or phone 0428 917 700.