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Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg ; 165(1): 163-165, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1295296


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in widespread unprecedented changes to the health care system. Herein, we sought to assess the impact of the viral outbreak on clinical presentations of sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) at a single academic center. Our results demonstrate a decrease in the absolute number of patients presenting with SSNHL to our institution during the initial onset of the COVID-19 pandemic compared to an analogous time frame 1 year prior. However, the ratio of patients with SSNHL compared to total patients evaluated was largely similar during the 2 time periods. Based on data from our institution, the COVID-19 virus does not appear to confer a significantly increased risk for the development of SSNHL.

COVID-19 , Hearing Loss, Sensorineural/epidemiology , Hearing Loss, Sudden/epidemiology , Humans , Retrospective Studies
Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg ; 164(1): 67-73, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-650363


OBJECTIVE: To investigate small-particle aerosolization from mastoidectomy relevant to potential viral transmission and to test source-control mitigation strategies. STUDY DESIGN: Cadaveric simulation. SETTING: Surgical simulation laboratory. METHODS: An optical particle size spectrometer was used to quantify 1- to 10-µm aerosols 30 cm from mastoid cortex drilling. Two barrier drapes were evaluated: OtoTent1, a drape sheet affixed to the microscope; OtoTent2, a custom-structured drape that enclosed the surgical field with specialized ports. RESULTS: Mastoid drilling without a barrier drape, with or without an aerosol-scavenging second suction, generated large amounts of 1- to 10-µm particulate. Drilling under OtoTent1 generated a high density of particles when compared with baseline environmental levels (P < .001, U = 107). By contrast, when drilling was conducted under OtoTent2, mean particle density remained at baseline. Adding a second suction inside OtoTent1 or OtoTent2 kept particle density at baseline levels. Significant aerosols were released upon removal of OtoTent1 or OtoTent2 despite a 60-second pause before drape removal after drilling (P < .001, U = 0, n = 10, 12; P < .001, U = 2, n = 12, 12, respectively). However, particle density did not increase above baseline when a second suction and a pause before removal were both employed. CONCLUSIONS: Mastoidectomy without a barrier, even when a second suction was added, generated substantial 1- to 10-µm aerosols. During drilling, large amounts of aerosols above baseline levels were detected with OtoTent1 but not OtoTent2. For both drapes, a second suction was an effective mitigation strategy during drilling. Last, the combination of a second suction and a pause before removal prevented aerosol escape during the removal of either drape.

Aerosols/adverse effects , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Ear Diseases/surgery , Mastoidectomy/methods , Otologic Surgical Procedures/standards , Personal Protective Equipment , Cadaver , Comorbidity , Ear Diseases/epidemiology , Humans , Mastoid/surgery , Otologic Surgical Procedures/methods , SARS-CoV-2
Otol Neurotol ; 41(9): 1230-1239, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-197201


BACKGROUND: COVID-19 has become a global pandemic with a dramatic impact on healthcare systems. Concern for viral transmission necessitates the investigation of otologic procedures that use high-speed drilling instruments, including mastoidectomy, which we hypothesized to be an aerosol-generating procedure. METHODS: Mastoidectomy with a high-speed drill was simulated using fresh-frozen cadaveric heads with fluorescein solution injected into the mastoid air cells. Specimens were drilled for 1-minute durations in test conditions with and without a microscope. A barrier drape was fashioned from a commercially available drape (the OtoTent). Dispersed particulate matter was quantified in segments of an octagonal test grid measuring 60 cm in radius. RESULTS: Drilling without a microscope dispersed fluorescent particles 360 degrees, with the areas of highest density in quadrants near the surgeon and close to the surgical site. Using a microscope or varying irrigation rates did not significantly reduce particle density or percent surface area with particulate. Using the OtoTent significantly reduced particle density and percent surface area with particulate across the segments of the test grid beyond 30 cm (which marked the boundary of the OtoTent) compared with the microscope only and no microscope test conditions (Kruskall-Wallis test, p = 0.0066). CONCLUSIONS: Mastoidectomy with a high-speed drill is an aerosol-generating procedure, a designation that connotes the potential high risk of viral transmission and need for higher levels of personal protective equipment. A simple barrier drape significantly reduced particulate dispersion in this study and could be an effective mitigation strategy in addition to appropriate personal protective equipment.

Aerosols , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Mastoid/surgery , Mastoidectomy/adverse effects , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Cadaver , Fluorescein , Humans , Microscopy , Occupational Health , Operating Rooms , Personal Protective Equipment , SARS-CoV-2 , Surgeons , Temporal Bone/surgery