Changing operating room practices: The effect on postoperative endophthalmitis rates following cataract surgery

Aravind Haripriya, Ravilla D. Ravindran, Alan L. Robin, Aakriti Garg Shukla, David F. Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To determine whether four new operating room (OR) protocols instituted because of COVID-19 reduced the cataract surgical postoperative endophthalmitis rate (POE). Design: Retrospective, sequential, clinical registry study. Methods: 85 552 sequential patients undergoing cataract surgery at the Aravind Eye Hospitals between 1 January 2020 and 25 March 2020 (56 551 in group 1) and 3 May 2020 and 31 August 2020 (29 011 in group 2). In group 1, patients were not gowned, surgical gloves were disinfected but not changed between cases, OR floors were not cleaned between every case, and multiple patients underwent preparation and surgery in the same OR. In group 2, each patient was gowned, surgical gloves were changed between each case, OR floors and counters were cleaned between patients, and only one patient at a time underwent preparation and surgery in the OR. Results: Group 1 was older, had slightly more females, and better preoperative vision. More eyes in group 2 underwent phacoemulsification (p=0.18). Three eyes (0.005%) in group 1 and 2 eyes (0.006%) in group 2 developed POE (p=0.77). Only one eye that underwent phacoemulsification developed POE; this was in group 1. There was no difference in posterior capsule rupture rate between the two groups. Conclusions: Adopting a set of four temporary OR protocols that are often mandatory in the Western world did not reduce the POE rate. Along with previously published studies, these results challenge the necessity of these common practices which may be needlessly costly and wasteful, arguing for the reevaluation of empiric and potentially unnecessary guidelines that govern ophthalmic surgeries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberbjophthalmol-2021-320506
JournalBritish Journal of Ophthalmology
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • eye (globe)
  • infection
  • public health
  • treatment surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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