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Head Neck ; 42(7): 1392-1396, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1384168


The severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV-2 pandemic continues to produce a large number of patients with chronic respiratory failure and ventilator dependence. As such, surgeons will be called upon to perform tracheotomy for a subset of these chronically intubated patients. As seen during the SARS and the SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks, aerosol-generating procedures (AGP) have been associated with higher rates of infection of medical personnel and potential acceleration of viral dissemination throughout the medical center. Therefore, a thoughtful approach to tracheotomy (and other AGPs) is imperative and maintaining traditional management norms may be unsuitable or even potentially harmful. We sought to review the existing evidence informing best practices and then develop straightforward guidelines for tracheotomy during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. This communication is the product of those efforts and is based on national and international experience with the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and the SARS epidemic of 2002/2003.

Clinical Decision-Making , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Hospital Mortality/trends , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/therapy , Tracheotomy/methods , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Critical Care/methods , Elective Surgical Procedures/methods , Elective Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Emergencies , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Internationality , Intubation, Intratracheal , Male , Occupational Health , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patient Safety , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Respiration, Artificial/methods , Risk Assessment , SARS Virus/pathogenicity , Survival Rate , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome , United States/epidemiology , Ventilator Weaning/methods