The objective of this study was to assess the efficacy of five types of disposable protective eyewear devices, to determine variables affecting compliance with the use of protective eyewear, and to determine the frequency of subclinical eye splatter. One hundred volunteer health care providers were assigned to one of five study eyewear groups and given a protective eyewear device to use for 2 weeks in an urban teaching referral center. Questionnaires were used to survey eyewear habits and other variables before the study. The devices were determined to be 88% effective overall, and there was no statistically significant difference between groups. The incidence of subclinical splatter was 50%. Even though disposable eyewear devices providing full frontal and lateral eye coverage are effective in preventing eyesplatter, the incidence of eyesplatter among health care providers working in nonsurgical areas is more common than previously assumed because of the lack of recognition of splatter (subclinical splatter) by the workers.
©1993 The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine