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Evaluation of Medical Laser Hazard and Control Measures, in Health Facilities, Riyadh, 1429H, 2008G.


The use of lasers in medicine is rapidly expanding in many disciplines. Laser hazards are inevitable, as long as there is a laser in use; there will be potential hazards, so it is essential that users of this powerful tool have knowledge of their potential hazards and the measures to protect patients and personnel against injuries or undesired effects. The current study conducted as a preliminary step to focus on laser safety measures applied in health facilities, personnel practice regard these measures, and confirming the occurrence of laser accidents and identifying the conditions and adopted procedures.


It was a cross-sectional exploratory study, included therapeutic lasers and laser personnel in all health facilities in Riyadh city, during Rabi' 1 and Rabi' 2 1429 H (between March and May 2008 G). Sample of 8 health facilities have been included and evaluated within the study period.


The study included different types of lasers in different specialties and the workers there. It found that main entrance doors were accurately posted in 25%. Engineering safety measures found in all lasers, as its production followed international agencies. Personnel eye protective instruments were present with all lasers but the practices there did not follow the standard recommendations and it may carry a risk. All personnel performing procedures were licensed but none of the workers was adequately trained on the laser safety measures. No laser safety officers and surveillance systems were present and no previous accidents have been reported.


Although this study included only a small number of health facilities in Riyadh, it gave an idea about the situation of laser safety. It showed that laser personnel had inadequate knowledge about the safe use of a laser and they underestimated its hazards. It found that there were no existing Laser Committee or Laser Surveillance System, therefore; many critical issues such as; accident reporting and investigation, regular preventive maintenance of the lasers; have been lost, and the number of accidents and injuries went unreported. The recommendations were to improve the personnel knowledge, and the establishing laser safety program and surveillance system