Aerosol and Droplet Particles Contained by Inexpensive Barrier Tent During Mastoidectomy: A COVID-19 Innovation
Keywords:SARS-CoV-2, otologic surgery, barrier tent, aerosol generating procedure, mastoid, COVID-19
Objective: To investigate the distribution and aerosolized particle counts generated during mastoidectomy, we utilized low-cost and locally available material and developed a plastic tent creating a barrier between the health care workers (HCW) and patient.
Methods: The barrier tent is a clear plastic bag attached to the microscope lens. The tent is draped and tucked underneath the patient’s head and upper torso with surgeon’s arms also passed underneath and secured with clamps. We demonstrated the area of greater contamination by spread of droplet particles and bone dust after drilling using fluorescent dye. Particle counts inside and outside the barrier was determined and then comparison with and without the tent after drilling of cadaveric temporal bone were also done.
Results: The area with highest concentration of contamination (“hot zone”) was noted opposite the surgeon’s hand drill which is dependent on the operator’s handedness. Other hot zones noted were opposite the operator and on the operator’s side. Particle determination of aerosol size 0.3 and 2.5µm inside the barrier tent were at peak levels after bone drilling procedure. Then a significant drop of particle counts was noted at 2 minutes after drilling was stopped with flattening observed at 8 minutes.
Conclusion: Our experimental results suggest that the improvised barrier tent can be effective in mitigating aerosols generated during mastoid surgery and may serve as an added protection for the operating room team.
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