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Laryngoscope Investig Otolaryngol ; 6(1): 49-57, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1044105


OBJECTIVE: Cadaveric simulations have shown endonasal drilling and cautery generate aerosols, which is a significant concern for otolaryngologists during the COVID-19 era. This study quantifies aerosol generation during routine rhinologic surgeries and in-office procedures in live patients. METHODS: Aerosols ranging from 0.30 to 10.0 µm were measured in real-time using an optical particle sizer during surgeries and in-office procedures. Various mask conditions were tested during rigid nasal endoscopy (RNE) and postoperative debridement (POD). RESULTS: Higher aerosol concentrations (AC) ranging from 2.69 to 10.0 µm were measured during RNE (n = 9) with no mask vs two mask conditions (P = .002 and P = .017). Mean AC (0.30-10.0 µm) were significantly higher during POD (n = 9) for no mask vs a mask covering the patient's mouth condition (mean difference = 0.16 ± 0.03 particles/cm3, 95% CI 0.10-0.22, P < .001). There were no discernible spikes in aerosol levels during endoscopic septoplasty (n = 3). Aerosol spikes were measured in two of three functional endoscopic sinus surgeries (FESS) with microdebrider. Using suction mitigation, there were no discernible spikes during powered drilling in two anterior skull base surgeries (ASBS). CONCLUSION: Use of a surgical mask over the patient's mouth during in-office procedures or a mask with a slit for an endoscope during RNE significantly diminished aerosol generation. However, whether this reduction in aerosol generation is sufficient to prevent transmission of communicable diseases via aerosols was beyond the scope of this study. There were several spikes in aerosols during FESS and ASBS, though none were associated with endonasal drilling with the use of suction mitigation. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 4.

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg ; 164(1): 93-96, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-719525


To provide data on risk of respiratory droplets from common otolaryngologic procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic, a novel simulation of droplet exposure from flexible laryngoscopy was performed. After completion of a nasal symptom questionnaire, topical fluorescein spray was administered into the nasal and oropharynx of 10 healthy volunteers, who then underwent flexible laryngoscopy under 2 conditions: routine without provoked response and with prompted sneeze/cough. After each, droplets on the proceduralist and participant were counted under ultraviolet A light. Droplets were observed on 1 of 10 volunteers after routine laryngoscopy and 4 of 10 during laryngoscopy with sneeze/cough. A nasal symptom score based on congestion and rhinorrhea was significantly elevated among droplet producers after sneeze/cough (P = .0164). No droplets were observed on the provider. Overall, with adequate personal protective equipment, flexible laryngoscopy poses minimal droplet risk to providers. Nasal symptoms can identify patients more likely to produce droplets after sneeze/cough.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Health Personnel , Laryngoscopy/adverse effects , Otorhinolaryngologic Diseases/diagnosis , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/transmission , Comorbidity , Humans , Otorhinolaryngologic Diseases/epidemiology , Otorhinolaryngologic Diseases/therapy
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