Impact of personal protective equipment on the clarity of vision amongst trachoma survey graders and trichiasis surgeons in the context of COVID-19

Journal: BMJ Open


The COVID-19 pandemic posed challenges to health care workers and patients, necessitating the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), despite a gap in scientific knowledge regarding the impact of face shields on performance during trachoma survey grading and trichiasis surgery; specifically, the impact of different face shield configurations on the clarity of vision, accuracy of grading and trichiasis surgical performance.

As a result of this study, the scientific community now knows that certain face shield configurations offer good visibility and comfort while maintaining accuracy in trachoma grading and surgical skills, and the importance of considering factors like comfort, wearability and decontamination in the selection and use of PPE.

The study’s findings can inform guidelines and policies regarding the use of PPE in ophthalmic health care settings and contribute to the development of standardised protocols for trachoma elimination programmes worldwide. The study provides evidence that the use of face shields can be integrated into trachoma survey grading and trichiasis surgery protocols.

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Publication details
Date published
29 January 2023
Original research