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ORIGINAL RESEARCH Table of Contents   
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 267-271
Assessment of biological risk among dentists during the COVID-19 Pandemic—A cross-sectional study

1 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Government Dental College, Thrissur, Kerala, India
2 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Government Dental College, Thrissur, Kerala, India
3 Department of Transfusion Medicine, Malabar Cancer Centre, Thalassery, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Divya K Devaraj
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Government Dental College, Thrissur, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijdr.ijdr_227_22

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Background: The health and life of a healthcare worker are repeatedly under threat due to the rising number of epidemics and pandemics. The COVID-19 pandemic is said to be fatal in people with a risky biological, demographic profile and working environment. This study is the first of its kind carried out on the dentist population from India, who were most affected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Aims and Objective: The present study aims to assess the biological risk of dentists based on the objective risk stratification (ORS) tool developed by Strain et al. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of dentists in government dental colleges of Kerala using the online form of the ORS tool consisting of questions which included certain demographic characteristics and comorbid conditions of the individual. An additional question was added to the tool, to categorise the work of the dentist depending on the exposure to aerosol (non-aerosol, minimal aerosol and aerosol). Results: Out of the 74 dentists, 48.6% reported high aerosol and 31% with minimal aerosol. The median score of the study participants was 2 (ranging from 1 to 12). Using the ORS tool, 16.2% had medium risk and only 2.7% had high risk. When the ORS tool was stratified with the aerosol generation, 5.4% had minimal and 6.7% had significant with medium-risk scores. Also, 2.7% with a high-risk score had minimal aerosol generation. Conclusion: Identifying the high-risk category to allocate duties accordingly and decrease the morbidity and mortality among dentists has to be kept a top priority in the event of a pandemic.

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