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Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol ; 278(6): 2133-2135, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-739654


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.

COVID-19 , Otologic Surgical Procedures , Ear, Middle/surgery , Endoscopy , Humans , Mastoidectomy , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
Otol Neurotol ; 41(9): 1230-1239, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-197201


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.

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