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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 91-94

Disposal of blood-soaked gauze by patients following tooth extraction: Are post-operative instructions adequate?

1 Department of Maxillofacial Surgery, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria
2 Department of Dental and Maxillofacial, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria
3 Department of Dental, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Nigeria
4 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Faculty of Dentistry, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Benjamin Fomete
Department of Maxillofacial Surgery, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njbcs.njbcs_3_21

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Context: With regard to disposal of medical and dental hazardous wastes, proper guidelines have been set in place by the occupational safety and health administration. However, the same cannot be said of patients concerning appropriate disposal of gauze routinely placed to control bleeding from extraction socket and other oral surgery procedures. Aim: The aim of this study was to determine whether the post-extraction instructions given to patients on the disposal of blood-soaked gauze were adequate across Nigeria. Materials and Methods: We conducted a survey through an electronically transmitted self-administered closed anonymous questionnaire adapted from Franklin and Laskin, 2014. This survey was conducted amongst dentists who are involved in exodontia in the dental schools or in the adjoining university teaching hospitals in Nigeria. Results: There were 95 participants who completed the questionnaire out of 120 dental surgeons to whom the questionnaires were sent giving a response rate of about 79.1%. Of the 95 participants, 75 (78.9%) were male and 20 (21.1%) were female giving a male-to-female ratio (M:F) of 3.75:1. About 46 (48.4%) agreed to providing patients with post-operative instruction sheet after extraction or any other oral surgical procedure whereas 47.4% do not provide. Amongst those who gave instruction, the majority (23.2%) asked the patients to dispose of it in the bin followed by 4.2% who just asked the patients to dispose of it. Conclusion: This study has shown that majority of the dentists in Nigeria do not provide adequate information regarding disposal of gauze placed in the mouth postoperatively, and this may potentially pose a risk to transmission of deadly blood-borne infection with the attendant negative health effect.

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