Reinforcing Our Culture of Safety

Dear Dugoni School Family,

As we continue preparing for our return and the healthcare professions and society take a greater interest in personal protective equipment to create safe environments, I wanted to share a blog post written by researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Two types of devices are most commonly used in the healthcare setting:  N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) and surgical masks (commonly called facemasks). When worn by healthcare professionals, FFRs protect the wearer from inhaling respiratory particles, and surgical masks protect others when the wearer of the mask may have a respiratory infection.

FFRs should have a tight seal between the wearer’s face and the mask, which is the primary difference from a surgical mask.  These are worn when treating patients who have an infectious disease transmitted though airborne particles, such as tuberculosis, measles, and influenza when there is potential for aerosolization of respiratory secretions.  As an interim precaution during the current pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends dental healthcare personnel wear the highest level PPE available, including FFRs when treating dental emergencies, and that providers delay all other dental treatment.  This is currently not a permanent recommendation to wear N95 respirators in dentistry.

Above all, this is a reminder for all of us that we should continue to focus on improving our commitment to the evidence-based protocols that already exist—and strengthening a safety culture. Outbreaks of blood borne diseases in dentistry are closely linked to lack of adherence to current guidelines. As the blog post points out, adherence to infection control recommendations can be bolstered with training, observation, metrics, and reinforcing a safety culture.

On a separate note, I also wanted to share a beautiful performance from Easter Sunday by Andrea Bocelli, who performed at the Duomo cathedral of Milan. His live solo performance was broadcast to a global audience via YouTube and was designed to bring a message of love, healing, and hope to Italy and the world.  I hope you enjoy this beautiful and uplifting performance.

Thank you again for all of your kind words and support.  We will continue to update you with new information and news, and we will certainly make it through this one day at a time with an eye toward a bright future for the entire Dugoni School family.