OBJECTIVE: To investigate the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on operative practices of otology and neurotology providers internationally. STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. METHODS: A 78-question survey was distributed to otologists and neurotologists between May 12, 2020 and June 8, 2020 to assess the impact of the pandemic on surgical practices. Sections within the survey delineated time periods: prior to the crisis, onset of the crisis, during the crisis, postcrisis transition. RESULTS: Of 396 survey respondents, 284 participants from 38 countries met inclusion criteria.Respondents were 16.9% female and 82.4% male, with a most common age range of 40 to 49 years (36.3%). 69.8% of participants had been in practice for over 10âyears and most respondents worked in an academic medical center (79.2%). The average operative weekly caseload was 5.3 (SD 3.9) per surgeon prior to the crisis, 0.7 (SD 1.2) during the COVID-19 crisis, and 3.5 (SD 3.3) for those who had begun a postcrisis transition at the time of survey administration (pâ<â0.001). 71.5% of providers did not perform an elective otologic or neurotologic operative procedure during the initial crisis period. 49.8% reported modifying their surgical technique due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Use of powered air-purifying respirators and filtering facepiece 2 or 3 (FFP2/FFP3) respirators were in minimal supply for 66.9% and 62.3% of respondents, respectively. CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the otology and neurotology community globally, resulting in significant changes in operative volume and case selection. Modification of surgical technique and shortages of personal protective equipment were frequently reported.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Pandemics , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Otolaryngologists , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
PURPOSE: Otolaryngologists have had to postpone the majority of surgical procedures in the current COVID-19 pandemic. Airborne transmission, beyond the projection of droplets from upper airways, expose healthcare workers to a risk of viral infection. Aerosol generating procedures (AGP) increase the risk of viral transmission to staff within the operating room. METHODS: Surgery of middle ear and mastoid is also considered an AGP, particularly mastoidectomy performed using a high-speed drill. The authors report their experience in endoscopic ear surgery as an alternative technique to reduce AGP in otologic procedures. RESULTS: Transcanal endoscopic ear surgery is a reliable technique used to manage many otologic conditions. CONCLUSION: The endoscopic approach may reduce the risk of viral transmission to operating room staff by reducing the need for mastoidectomy.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Otologic Surgical Procedures , Ear, Middle/surgery , Endoscopy , Humans , Mastoidectomy , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
: This combined American Neurotology Society, American Otological Society, and American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Foundation document aims to provide guidance during the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) on 1) "priority" of care for otologic and neurotologic patients in the office and operating room, and 2) optimal utilization of personal protective equipment. Given the paucity of evidence to inform otologic and neurotologic best practices during COVID-19, the recommendations herein are based on relevant peer-reviewed articles, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 guidelines, United States and international hospital policies, and expert opinion. The suggestions presented here are not meant to be definitive, and best practices will undoubtedly change with increasing knowledge and high-quality data related to COVID-19. Interpretation of this guidance document is dependent on local factors including prevalence of COVID-19 in the surgeons' local community. This is not intended to set a standard of care, and should not supersede the clinician's best judgement when managing specific clinical concerns and/or regional conditions.Access to otologic and neurotologic care during and after the COVID-19 pandemic is dependent upon adequate protection of physicians, audiologists, and ancillary support staff. Otolaryngologists and associated staff are at high risk for COVID-19 disease transmission based on close contact with mucosal surfaces of the upper aerodigestive tract during diagnostic evaluation and therapeutic procedures. While many otologic and neurotologic conditions are not imminently life threatening, they have a major impact on communication, daily functioning, and quality of life. In addition, progression of disease and delay in treatment can result in cranial nerve deficits, intracranial and life-threatening complications, and/or irreversible consequences. In this regard, many otologic and neurotologic conditions should rightfully be considered "urgent," and almost all require timely attention to permit optimal outcomes. It is reasonable to proceed with otologic and neurotologic clinic visits and operative cases based on input from expert opinion of otologic care providers, clinic/hospital administration, infection prevention and control specialists, and local and state public health leaders. Significant regional variations in COVID-19 prevalence exist; therefore, physicians working with local municipalities are best suited to make determinations on the appropriateness and timing of otologic and neurotologic care.
Subject(s)Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Neurotology/organization & administration , Otolaryngologists , Otolaryngology/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adrenal Cortex Hormones/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. , Humans , Operating Rooms , Pandemics , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Quality of Life , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
OBJECTIVES: The current study aims at assessing the effectiveness of the guidelines set up by our clinic for the protection of patients and staff which enabled us to proceed with urgent and oncological surgery after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Our ENT department devised specific equipment to be worn by the staff for personal protection when dealing with Covid-19 patients both in aerosol generating and non-generating procedures. Moreover, restrictive measures were enforced both for the outpatient department and for the ward where only urgent practices were carried out and visitors were not allowed, while non-urgent elective surgery was postponed. A codified scheme was followed to perform tracheostomy procedure in Covid-19 positive testing patients on the part of 3 specific teams of 2 surgeons each, while the resident educational program was reorganized to limit the spread of the infection. RESULTS: In about a couple of months (from March 8th to May 3rd) a relevant amount of medical tests and surgical procedures were carried out on non COVID-19 patients and a certain number of tracheostomies were performed on COVID-19 patients. Consequently, all the ENT personnel were checked and found negative. Also, all the patients in the ward were swab tested and chest X-rayed, only one had a positive outcome and was adequately handled and treated. CONCLUSION: Our ENT guidelines regarding personal protection equipment and multiple simultaneous diagnostic procedures have proved to be an essential instrument for the management of patients with both known and unknown COVID-19 status.