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Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg ; 164(2): 433-442, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-707086


OBJECTIVE: After significant restrictions initially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, otolaryngologists have begun resuming normal clinical practice. However, the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission to health care workers through aerosolization and airborne transmission during rhinologic surgery remains incompletely characterized. The objective of this study was to quantify the number concentrations of aerosols generated during rhinologic surgery with and without interventions involving 3 passive suction devices. STUDY DESIGN: Cadaver simulation. SETTING: Dedicated surgical laboratory. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: In a simulation of rhinologic procedures with and without different passive suction interventions, the concentrations of generated aerosols in the particle size range of 0.30 to 10.0 µm were quantified with an optical particle sizer. RESULTS: Functional endoscopic sinus surgery with and without microdebrider, high-speed powered drilling, use of an ultrasonic aspirator, and electrocautery all produced statistically significant increases in concentrations of aerosols of various sizes (P < .05). Powered drilling, ultrasonic aspirator, and electrocautery generated the highest concentration of aerosols, predominantly submicroparticles <1 µm. All interventions with a suction device were effective in reducing aerosols, though the surgical smoke evacuation system was the most effective passive suction method in 2 of the 5 surgical conditions with statistical significance (P < .05). CONCLUSION: Significant aerosol concentrations were produced in the range of 0.30 to 10.0 µm during all rhinologic procedures in this cadaver simulation. Rhinologic surgery with a passive suction device results in significant mitigation of generated aerosols.

Aerosols , COVID-19/transmission , Nasal Surgical Procedures/adverse effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cadaver , Humans , Models, Biological
Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg ; 163(6): 1137-1139, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-620846


As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to evolve through the United States and other countries, differing rates of progression and decline are occurring based on varied population densities. While some health systems are reaching a steady state of new patient cases, others are seeing a leveling off or decline, allowing for restoration of normal practices. This "reverse-surge" planning and implementation process is a colossal undertaking for health systems trying to reacquire patient access and financial stability while preserving necessary resources and maintaining precautions for another potential surge. For the otolaryngologist, reverse-surge planning involves additional workflow adjustments in the outpatient and operating room settings given the abundance of COVID-19 virus in the upper aerodigestive tract. As the reverse-surge best practices are still under development, open communication between otolaryngology colleagues and health system leadership is paramount to optimize efficiency and maintain an adequate measure of safety for patients and our health care teams.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Infection Control/methods , Otolaryngology/methods , Pandemics , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Testing , Health Personnel , Humans , Interdisciplinary Communication , Otolaryngologists , Personal Protective Equipment , United States