Urgent Public Health Alert!

In my opinion, there is NO patient benefit from reusing Microkeratome Blades on multiple people.  Reusing microkeratome components that come into contact with blood or the cornea on multiple patients is not within the practice of medicine for patients in the United States let alone within the standard of care for any Medical Doctor (for any medical procedure including LASIK).  Reuse has a very high risk of harm to the patient, is not prudent and is far too risky for patients. 

 

Based on my review of the risks associated with reusing microkeratome blades or cannulas on multiple patients (especially without proper sterilization), this practice can spread infectious diseases (e.g., DLK, HIV, hepatitis, CJD, etc.) as well as corneal infections (a complication that does lead to loss of eye and blindness).  Proper sterilization of the microkeratome blades with regard to CJD prions is not practical and the blades do come into contact with the eye and blood (which are considered highly infectious tissue).  The microkeratome then inserts the tissue into the eye of any other patients it comes into contact with. 

In addition, microkeratome blades get duller every time they are reused which causes irregular flaps made in the cornea, less smooth flaps, epithelial ingrowth, keratitis, and other serious problems.  In general, the reuse or reprocessing of single use devices on multiple patients is a serious concern (see http://reform.house.gov/UploadedFiles/121605%20FDA%20Medical%20Device%20Letters.pdf). 

 

Read more to find out why the FDA, the CDC and the rest of the Federal government, state and local authorities have done Nothing to stop this threat to the public health despite their knowledge of this ongoing practice and the risk to the public health of thousands of people in the US.  Over 8 million US citizens have had LASIK and hundreds of the surgeons have admitted reusing blades, but none have lost their medical licenses and only a few have even been placed on temporary probation.