Enclosure with augmented airflow to decrease risk of exposure to aerosolized pathogens including coronavirus during endotracheal intubation. Can the reduction in aerosolized particles be quantified?

Jason Bryant, Joseph D Tobias
Paediatric Anaesthesia 2020, 30 (8): 900-904

INTRODUCTION: As the pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19) has impacted hospital routines in recent weeks, recommendations to reduce healthcare worker infections are being developed.

METHODS: We report preliminary experience with the efficacy of an enclosure with augmented airflow to decrease the risk of exposure to aerosolized pathogens during airway management including endotracheal intubation. A particle generator was used to test the efficacy of the reduction of aerosolized particles by measuring their concentration within the enclosure and in the environment.

RESULTS: No reduction in the concentration of aerosolized particles was noted with the enclosure flap open, whether the interior suction was on or off. However, with the enclosure closed and no augmented airflow (suction off), the particle concentration decreased to 1.2% of baseline. The concentration decreased even further, to 0.8% of baseline with the enclosure closed with augmented airflow (suction on).

DISCUSSION: Aerosolized particulate contamination in the operating room can be decreased using a clear plastic enclosure with minimal openings and augmented airflow. This may serve to decrease the exposure of healthcare providers to aerosolized pathogens.

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