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Mahmut Dogramaci, Mussa Adil Butt; The Influence of Slit Lamp Shield Size and Design in Reducing Aerosol Transmission. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2021;10(13):33. https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.10.13.33.
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Previous studies have highlighted the effectiveness of slit lamp shields in reducing aerosol spread. Our study investigated the optimal size and design for such shields.
Two sets of shields were made; each set included five cardboards of the following dimensions: 1 (44 × 52 cm), 2 (44 × 44 cm), 3 (22 × 52 cm), 4 (22 × 33.5 cm), and 5 (44 × 22.5 cm). Cardboards in set 1 were kept flat whereas those in set 2 were curved using plastic frames. Aerosol was generated at the patient's position using a water spray bottle, and aerosol levels were measured at the face position of the examiner and on the slit lamp table using two GP2Y1014AU0F sensors. The measurements were recorded in particles/0.01f3 and analyzed using a Mann Whitney U test.
Mean background indoor aerosol was 559. After aerosol generation, the level increased to a mean of 571 in the absence of any kind of shield but to a mean of 567 when shields were in place (P < 0.05). Flat shield 1 provided the best protection against inhaled aerosol. Flat shield 2, despite its shorter height compared to shield 1, provided the best protection against precipitated aerosol on the table. Curving shield 5 significantly improved its protective properties against both inhaled and precipitated aerosol while keeping the short height that allowed better access during examinations.
Shields reduced aerosol spread with curved shields being more effective while creating fewer physical restrictions. GP2Y1014AU0F particle sensors are effective tools for quantifying aerosol spread.
An understanding of optimal slit lamp shield design will provide protection for examiners while facilitating effective examination.
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