The transmission risk to surgeons performing percutaneous renal surgery on patients who are infected with human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C is unknown. A recent study found 55% of surgeons' masks contain evidence of blood splash contamination after percutaneous nephrolithotomy. While the risk of infectious disease transmission to the surgeon after mucocutaneous exposure is unknown, the incapacitating disease these pathogens cause can have a devastating and permanent effect on a surgeon's career. We describe our use of a surgical helmet system when performing percutaneous renal surgery on high-risk patients to minimize risk of splash injury and transmission of blood-borne pathogens.
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