March 5, 2020

Study: Anesthetic management of patients with suspected COVID-19 during emergency surgical procedures

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

This retrospective, multicenter study from four hospitals in Wuhan, China, found that Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) specific guidelines for emergency surgical procedures in patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection can effectively prevent cross-infection in the OR.

The guidelines include:


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  • negative pressure ORs
  • level 3 protective measures for OR staff, anesthesiologists, surgeons
  • single-use of all anesthetic equipment, utensils, and drugs
  • anesthetic devices in contact with the respiratory tract, including video laryngoscope lenses, plastic respiratory tubes, and suction tubes should be discarded after single use
  • thorough disinfection and sterilization of the OR after the surgery
  • self-decontamination of OR staff, anesthesiologists, surgeons.

Implementing similar measures will hopefully be successful in reducing the nosocomial transmission of  COVID-19 in the perioperative setting, the authors say.

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