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Supplier issues tonometer probe warning

Designs For Vision (DFV) is reducing the cost of contact tonometer probes to encourage safer work practices amid concerns that some eyecare professionals may re-use the single-use probes.

The Victorian-based supplier, which distributes the Icare tonometer range, is offering 20% off the cost of a box of 600 probes. Icare probes are intended for single use only.

“Although a fresh probe has always been required when using an Icare tonometer, it is believed that some users may cut corners and used their probes multiple times,” the company stated.

“Apart from the obvious contamination risks, this may also lead to incorrect measurement of IOP or damage to the device.”

DFV is offering a discount on a box of 600 probes.

DFV also noted that the unsafe practise of re-using probes for contact tonometers in multiple patients could lead to the transmission of the COVID-19 virus or other pathogens.

“Tonometry with single-use probe is currently recommended by RANZCO as the safest modality for IOP measurement, considering the potential risk of aerosol contamination from puff tonometry,” the company stated.

Two recent studies, one in Hong Kong and one in Italy, have demonstrated a connection between coronavirus and the eyes.

Public health researchers from the University of Hong Kong believe the eye may be a key entry point for coronavirus to infect the body.

The researchers claim they are the first in the world to provide evidence that coronavirus can infect through both the upper respiratory airways and conjunctiva much more efficiently than the 2003 SARS virus.

Separately, a new study into Italy’s first coronavirus patient has found she had traces of the virus in her eyes for several weeks, even after it had become undetectable in nasal swabs.

The research is the latest to establish a connection between COVID-19 and ocular fluids, suggesting the eye is not only a potential entry point for the virus, but also a source of contagion.

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