Blood Spatter in Oral Surgery: Prevalence and Risk Factors

. 2020 Jun;151(6):438-443.
doi: 10.1016/j.adaj.2020.02.026.PMID: 32450982


Background: Oral surgeons are exposed to blood spatter. The authors evaluated the prevalence of and risk factors for blood spatter in facial masks during oral surgery procedures.

Methods: The authors evaluated facial masks and caps of oral surgeons and assistants for blood spatter using the Kastle-Meyer test after different oral surgery procedures. The authors correlated the presence of blood spatter to the clinician, type of surgery, surgery time, and self-awareness of blood spatter, using χ2 and t tests.

Results: The authors analyzed a total of 202 samples and detected blood particles in 46% of the samples in both operators and assistants. The authors observed blood contamination in all types of procedures, and in 4% of the cases, the internal part of the visor was also affected. Clinicians were unaware of the presence of blood spatter in 40% of the cases.

Conclusions: The risk of clinician contamination with blood during tooth extraction and implant placement was 46%. The risk increased with the use of high-speed instruments and longer surgery time.

Practical implications: The use of facial protective devices should be mandatory during oral surgery procedures to avoid blood contamination, especially when rotary devices are used. In many cases, imperceptible blood spatter is present.