May 18, 2019
In EMT class and bloodborne-pathogens training, we’re taught to wear our gloves. Most EMS providers do so without thinking—they just pull them on as they exit their apparatus or approach a scene. They often carry extra pairs in their pocket or on their belt just in case.
Eye protection doesn’t seem to have the same sway. A 2016 study found its EMS usage varies based on department policy and personal preference. This article will review why eye protection for EMS is a sound idea and offer suggestions for how to be more consistent with wearing it.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, nearly 20,000 eye injuries occur at work each year.1 Further, nearly 90% of these injuries could be avoided if appropriate eye protection were worn. Granted, a majority of these injuries are industrial, rather than medical, yet EMS can find itself in nearly any situation rendering care.
According to the AAO, common