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Because of the high virulence of the novel coronavirus responsible for causing COVID-19, many patients infected with the virus become critically ill, requiring prolonged intubation, and may ultimately require tracheostomy. Mucosal surfaces have been shown to be reservoirs for high concentrations of the virus, which can become aerosolized for up to 3 hours following manipulation.1,2 Surgeons performing tracheostomies are at high risk for exposure, and recently published guidelines recommend against elective, non–time-sensitive procedures.3 In the event that a tracheostomy is indicated in a patient with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, interventions that limit the spread of aerosols are critical to reducing exposure.4,5 Here we present the creation of a novel negative-pressure aerosol cover made out of readily available operating room materials as an additional barrier to limit the spread of aerosols during tracheostomy.
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Accepted for Publication: April 14, 2020.
Corresponding Author: J. Tyler Bertroche, MD, Department of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, Washington University in St Louis School of Medicine, 1 Barnes-Jewish Plaza, St Louis, MO 63108 (email@example.com).
Published Online: April 28, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2020.1081
Author Contributions: Drs Bertroche, Pipkorn, and Zevallos had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.
Study concept and design: Bertroche, Buchman, Zevallos.
Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Bertroche, Pipkorn, Zolkind, Zevallos.
Drafting of the manuscript: Bertroche, Buchman.
Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: All authors.
Administrative, technical, or material support: Zolkind, Zevallos.
Study supervision: Pipkorn, Buchman, Zevallos.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Buchman reported receiving grants from the US Department of Defense and consulting fees from Cochlear Limited, Advanced Bionics, Envoy, and IotaMotion outside the submitted work; in addition, Dr Buchman had a patent to US9,072,468B2 licensed. No other disclosures were reported.
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