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1.
Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg ; : 1945998221099028, 2022 May 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1820026

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Airborne aerosol transmission, an established mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 spread, has been successfully mitigated in the health care setting through the adoption of universal masking. Upper airway endoscopy, however, requires direct access to the face, thereby potentially exposing the clinic environment to infectious particles. This study quantifies aerosol production during rigid nasal endoscopy (RNE) and RNE with debridement (RNED) as compared with intubation, a posited gold standard aerosol-generating procedure. STUDY DESIGN: Prospective cross-sectional study. SETTING: Subspecialty single-center clinic and surgical study. METHOD: Three aerosol detectors (NANOSCAN-3910, OPS-3330, and APS-3321) with a particle size sensitivity of 10 to 20,000 nm were utilized to detect particulate production during the clinical care of 209 patients undergoing RNE/RNED and 25 patients undergoing intubation. RESULTS: RNE and RNED produced statistically significant particles over baseline in 29.3% and 51.0% of subjects (P = .003-.049 and .002-.047, respectively). Intubation produced statistically significant particles in 31.2% (P = .001-.015). The mean ± SD particle diameter in all tests was 69.9 ± 10.5 nm with 99.7% <300 nm. There were no statistical differences in particle production among RNE, RNED, and intubation. The presence of concomitant cough, sneeze, or prolonged speech similarly did not significantly affect particle production during any procedure. CONCLUSIONS: Instrumentation of nasal airway produces airborne aerosols to a similar degree of those seen during intubation, independent of reactive patient behaviors such as cough or sneeze. These data suggest that an improved understanding is necessary of both the definition of an aerosol-generating procedure and the functional consequences of procedural aerosol generation in clinical settings.

2.
Laryngoscope ; 132(2): 257-258, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1527450

ABSTRACT

Patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) may have concerns regarding their potential for an increased likelihood of contracting Covid-19, given baseline inflammatory disease and utilization of topical or oral immunosuppressive therapies for disease treatment. In the present study, we utilize matched cohort sampling of over 12,000 CRS patients and 12,000 controls seen between June of 2020 and January of 2021, examining rates of Covid-19 testing and positivity during that time period. We found no difference in Covid-19 contraction between CRS patients and matched non-CRS patients, despite an almost twofold significant increase in testing among those with CRS. This suggests that CRS patients are likely not inherently more vulnerable to Covid-19 infection at a rate above that of the general population. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 4 Laryngoscope, 132:257-258, 2022.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Rhinitis/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sinusitis/virology , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Chronic Disease , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged
3.
Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg ; 167(2): 266-267, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440870

ABSTRACT

Routine outpatient otolaryngology visits have been identified as potential vectors for increased transmission of COVID-19 relative to other medical encounters. This is in part due to the inability of patients to mask during comprehensive otolaryngology examination and potential propensity for aerosolization during upper airway procedures, including endoscopy and nasopharyngoscopy. Using a matched-cohort sampling of >20,000 patients seen between April 2020 and January 2021, we found no increased rate of postvisit COVID-19 positivity following an in-office otolaryngology encounter relative to other non-otolaryngology outpatient encounters. This suggests that the perceived elevated risk of provider-to-patient and patient-to-patient transmission during outpatient otolaryngologic care may be unfounded.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Otolaryngology , Endoscopy , Humans , Outpatients , SARS-CoV-2
5.
PLoS One ; 16(2): e0244127, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067399

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Olfactory dysfunction (OD) affects a majority of COVID-19 patients, is atypical in duration and recovery, and is associated with focal opacification and inflammation of the olfactory epithelium. Given recent increased emphasis on airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the purpose of the present study was to experimentally characterize aerosol dispersion within olfactory epithelium (OE) and respiratory epithelium (RE) in human subjects, to determine if small (sub 5µm) airborne aerosols selectively deposit in the OE. METHODS: Healthy adult volunteers inhaled fluorescein-labeled nebulized 0.5-5µm airborne aerosol or atomized larger aerosolized droplets (30-100µm). Particulate deposition in the OE and RE was assessed by blue-light filter modified rigid endoscopic evaluation with subsequent image randomization, processing and quantification by a blinded reviewer. RESULTS: 0.5-5µm airborne aerosol deposition, as assessed by fluorescence gray value, was significantly higher in the OE than the RE bilaterally, with minimal to no deposition observed in the RE (maximum fluorescence: OE 19.5(IQR 22.5), RE 1(IQR 3.2), p<0.001; average fluorescence: OE 2.3(IQR 4.5), RE 0.1(IQR 0.2), p<0.01). Conversely, larger 30-100µm aerosolized droplet deposition was significantly greater in the RE than the OE (maximum fluorescence: OE 13(IQR 14.3), RE 38(IQR 45.5), p<0.01; average fluorescence: OE 1.9(IQR 2.1), RE 5.9(IQR 5.9), p<0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Our data experimentally confirm that despite bypassing the majority of the upper airway, small-sized (0.5-5µm) airborne aerosols differentially deposit in significant concentrations within the olfactory epithelium. This provides a compelling aerodynamic mechanism to explain atypical OD in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Aerosols/analysis , Anosmia/etiology , COVID-19/complications , Olfactory Mucosa/physiopathology , Adult , Aerosols/administration & dosage , Anosmia/physiopathology , Anosmia/virology , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Olfactory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Smell
6.
Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg ; 165(3): 424-430, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1060121

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) significantly affected many health care specialties, including otolaryngology. In response to governmental policy changes, many hospitals and private practices in Massachusetts canceled or postponed nonurgent office visits and elective surgeries. The objective of this study was to quantify the impact of COVID-19 on the provision and practice trends of otolaryngology services for 10 private practices in Massachusetts. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective review. SETTING: Multipractice study for community practices in Massachusetts. METHODS: Electronic billing records from 10 private otolaryngology practices in Massachusetts were obtained for the first 4 months of 2019 and 2020. Questionnaires from these otolaryngology practices were collected to assess financial and staffing impact of COVID-19. RESULTS: The local onset of the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant decrease of 63% of visits in comparison to equivalent weeks in 2019. Virtual visits overtook in-person visits over time. A greater decline in operating room (OR) procedures than for office procedures was recorded. Ninety percent of practices reduced working hours, and 80% furloughed personnel. Seventy percent of practices applied for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). CONCLUSION: COVID-19 has had a multifaceted impact on private otolaryngology practices in Massachusetts. A significant decline in provision of otolaryngology services aligned with the Massachusetts government's public health policy changes. The combination of limited personnel and personal protective equipment, as well as suspension of nonessential office visits and surgeries, led to decrease in total office visits and even higher decrease in OR procedures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Otolaryngology , Private Practice , Appointments and Schedules , Humans , Massachusetts/epidemiology , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg ; 163(4): 702-704, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-999412

ABSTRACT

Otolaryngologists are at increased risk for exposure to suspected aerosol-generating procedures during the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In the present study, we sought to quantify differences in aerosol generation during common ventilation scenarios. We performed a series of 30-second ventilation experiments on porcine larynx-trachea-lung specimens. We used an optical particle sizer to quantify the number of 1- to 10-µm particles observed per 30-second period (PP30). No significant aerosols were observed with ventilation of intubated specimens (10.8 ± 2.4 PP30 vs background 9.5 ± 2.1, P = 1.0000). Simulated coughing through a tracheostomy produced 53.5 ± 25.2 PP30, significantly more than background (P = .0121) and ventilation of an intubated specimen (P = .0401). These data suggest that undisturbed ventilation and thus intubation without stimulation or coughing may be safer than believed. Coughing increases aerosol production, particularly via tracheostomy. Otolaryngologists who frequently manage patient airways and perform tracheostomy are at increased risk for aerosol exposure and require appropriate personal protective equipment, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Aerosols/administration & dosage , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Respiration, Artificial/methods , Tracheostomy/methods , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Facial Plast Surg Aesthet Med ; 2020 Jul 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-759892

ABSTRACT

Background: COVID-19 poses a potentially significant infectious risk during procedures of the head and neck due to high viral loads in the nasal cavity and nasopharynx. Facial plastic surgery has significant exposure to these areas during craniomaxillofacial trauma procedures and rhinoplasty. Methods: Airborne particulate generation in the 1-10 µm range was quantified with an optical particle sizer in real time during cadaveric-simulated rhinoplasty and facial trauma conditions. Procedures tested included mandibular plate screw drilling, calvarial drilling, nasal bone osteotomy, nasal dorsal rasping, and piezoelectric saw use. Particulate generation was measured both adjacent to the surgical site and at surgeon mouth level (SML). Results: Mandibular plate screw drilling without irrigation generated significant particulate both adjacent to the surgical site and at SML (p < 0.01). Irrigation mitigated particulate generation at SML to nonsignificant levels. Calvarial drilling additionally produced substantial particulate above baseline adjacent to the surgical site (p < 0.01). Standard nasal osteotomies and dorsal rasping did not generate detectable airborne particulate, whereas piezoelectric saw use was associated with significant particulate generation both adjacent to the surgical site (p < 0.001) and at SML (p < 0.01). At SML, smaller particulate represented a significantly higher proportion of total particulate detected. Conclusions: The majority of craniomaxillofacial trauma procedures involve particle generation that may be limited in spread by the use of local irrigation. Most bony work involved in rhinoplasty can be safely performed without a high degree of particle formation. The use of piezoelectric instruments in rhinoplasty should be avoided when concerned for particulate generation.

10.
Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg ; 164(1): 67-73, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-650363

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
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
11.
Int Forum Allergy Rhinol ; 10(10): 1136-1140, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-603709

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has significantly impacted endonasal surgery, and recent experimentation has demonstrated that sinonasal drilling and cautery have significant propensity for airborne particulate generation immediately adjacent to the surgical field. In the present investigation, we assessed nasopharyngeal suctioning as a mitigation strategy to decrease particulate spread during simulated endonasal surgical activity. METHODS: Airborne particulate generation in the 1-µm to 10-µm range was quantified with an optical particle sizer in real-time during cadaveric-simulated anterior and posterior endonasal drilling and cautery conditions. To test suction mitigation, experiments were performed both with and without a rigid suction placed in the contralateral nostril, terminating in the nasopharynx. RESULTS: Both anterior (medial maxillary wall and nasal septum) and posterior (sphenoid rostrum) drilling produced significant particulate generation in the 1-µm to 10-µm range throughout the duration of drilling (p < 0.001) without the use of suction, whereas nasopharyngeal suction use eliminated the detection of generated airborne particulate. A similar effect was seen with nasal cautery, with significant particle generation (p < 0.001) that was reduced to undetectable levels with the use of nasopharyngeal suction. CONCLUSION: The use of nasopharyngeal suctioning via the contralateral nostril minimizes airborne particulate spread during simulated sinonasal drilling and cautery. In the era of COVID-19, this technique offers an immediately available measure that may increase surgical safety.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/surgery , Cautery , Endoscopy , Nasopharynx/surgery , Paranasal Sinuses/surgery , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Suction/methods , Cadaver , Humans , Particulate Matter/analysis
12.
Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg ; 163(3): 465-470, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-378052

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: In the era of SARS-CoV-2, the risk of infectious airborne aerosol generation during otolaryngologic procedures has been an area of increasing concern. The objective of this investigation was to quantify airborne aerosol production under clinical and surgical conditions and examine efficacy of mask mitigation strategies. STUDY DESIGN: Prospective quantification of airborne aerosol generation during surgical and clinical simulation. SETTING: Cadaver laboratory and clinical examination room. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Airborne aerosol quantification with an optical particle sizer was performed in real time during cadaveric simulated endoscopic surgical conditions, including hand instrumentation, microdebrider use, high-speed drilling, and cautery. Aerosol sampling was additionally performed in simulated clinical and diagnostic settings. All clinical and surgical procedures were evaluated for propensity for significant airborne aerosol generation. RESULTS: Hand instrumentation and microdebridement did not produce detectable airborne aerosols in the range of 1 to 10 µm. Suction drilling at 12,000 rpm, high-speed drilling (4-mm diamond or cutting burs) at 70,000 rpm, and transnasal cautery generated significant airborne aerosols (P < .001). In clinical simulations, nasal endoscopy (P < .05), speech (P < .01), and sneezing (P < .01) generated 1- to 10-µm airborne aerosols. Significant aerosol escape was seen even with utilization of a standard surgical mask (P < .05). Intact and VENT-modified (valved endoscopy of the nose and throat) N95 respirator use prevented significant airborne aerosol spread. CONCLUSION: Transnasal drill and cautery use is associated with significant airborne particulate matter production in the range of 1 to 10 µm under surgical conditions. During simulated clinical activity, airborne aerosol generation was seen during nasal endoscopy, speech, and sneezing. Intact or VENT-modified N95 respirators mitigated airborne aerosol transmission, while standard surgical masks did not.


Subject(s)
Aerosols/adverse effects , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Nose/virology , Otorhinolaryngologic Surgical Procedures , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Cadaver , Endoscopy , Humans , Pandemics , Particle Size , Personal Protective Equipment , Prospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Otol Neurotol ; 41(9): 1230-1239, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-197201

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
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
14.
Int Forum Allergy Rhinol ; 10(7): 798-805, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-30946

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: International experience with coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) suggests it poses a significant risk of infectious transmission to skull base surgeons, due to high nasal viral titers and the unknown potential for aerosol generation during endonasal instrumentation. The purpose of this study was to simulate aerosolization events over a range of endoscopic procedures to obtain an evidence-based aerosol risk assessment. METHODS: Aerosolization was simulated in a cadaver using fluorescein solution (0.2 mg per 10 mL) and quantified using a blue-light filter and digital image processing. Outpatient sneezing during endoscopy was simulated using an intranasal atomizer in the presence or absence of intact and modified surgical mask barriers. Surgical aerosolization was simulated during nonpowered instrumentation, suction microdebrider, and high-speed drilling after nasal fluorescein application. RESULTS: Among the outpatient conditions, a simulated sneeze event generated maximal aerosol distribution at 30 cm, extending to 66 cm. Both an intact surgical mask and a modified VENT mask (which enables endoscopy) eliminated all detectable aerosol spread. Among the surgical conditions, cold instrumentation and microdebrider use did not generate detectable aerosols. Conversely, use of a high-speed drill produced significant aerosol contamination in all conditions tested. CONCLUSION: We confirm that aerosolization presents a risk to the endonasal skull base surgeon. In the outpatient setting, use of a barrier significantly reduces aerosol spread. Cold surgical instrumentation and microdebrider use pose significantly less aerosolization risk than a high-speed drill. Procedures requiring drill use should carry a special designation as an "aerosol-generating surgery" to convey this unique risk, and this supports the need for protective personal protective equipment.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Endoscopy/adverse effects , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Nose Diseases , Otolaryngology/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Aerosols , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Cadaver , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Endoscopy/instrumentation , Humans , Nose Diseases/diagnosis , Nose Diseases/surgery , Nose Diseases/virology , Otolaryngology/instrumentation , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Sneezing
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