This study found no increase in incidence of endophthalmitis patients whose physicians who wore masks while administering the injections. Photo: Leonid Skorin Jr., DO, OD, MS. Click image to enlarge.
Findings from a recent multicenter, retrospective, comparative cohort study exploring the impact of physician face mask use on the rates and outcomes of post-injection endophthalmitis showed no association between the two. However, the rate of infectious endophthalmitis at one study facility decreased with face mask use when coupled with other injection protocol improvements.
The study authors compared endophthalmitis rate as well as visual acuity of eyes that developed endophthalmitis following anti-VEGF injections depending on physician masking. A total of 164,824 injections were performed at the study sites. Of these, 66,098 were in the no mask group and 98,726 injections were in the mask group. The data revealed no differences in the rates of infectious endophthalmitis in the two cohorts.
At Mayo Clinic Rochester alone, the study authors reported a significant reduction in infectious endophthalmitis when comparing the no mask (nine cases) and mask (two cases) groups. Average visual acuity for patients who developed endophthalmitis was similar between the two groups at presentation and six months, according to the researchers.
“Physician face mask use did not impact the rate or outcome of post-injection endophthalmitis,” the study authors noted in their recent Retina paper. “However, there was a significant reduction at Mayo Clinic Rochester after masking along with other quality improvement measures, including performance of injections in a dedicated procedure room and preparation of patients by nurses, that led to a low rate of endophthalmitis.”
Fortes BH, Astafurov KV, Hodge DO, et al. The effect of physician face mask use on post-injection endophthalmitis. Retina. August 10, 2022. [Epub ahead of print].