CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · J Neuroanaesth Crit Care 2020; 7(03): 154-157
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1716428

Tracheostomy during COVID-19 Pandemic: Viewpoint

Ashish Bindra
1   Department of Neuroanesthesiology and Critical Care, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
Smile Kajal
2   Department of Otorhinolaryngology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
Kapil Sikka
2   Department of Otorhinolaryngology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
› Institutsangaben


The wrath of corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is likely to be with us for some time. So many healthcare organizations and committees, especially those concerned with surgical disciplines and anesthesia and critical care, have formulated specialty-specific guidelines for best practices in managing COVID-19 and non-COVID patients during the pandemic. Viral particles are known to get encapsulated in globs of mucus, saliva, and water, causing known transmission through both direct contacts via droplets (more than 5 µm) or aerosols (less than 5 µm) and indirect contact via fomite and airborne contagion.[1] Physicians from almost all specialties are exposed to this contagious virus in some way or the other. A study analyzing physician deaths from COVID-19 found that general practitioners and emergency room doctors comprise 42% of all deaths and otorhinolaryngologists and anesthesiologists comprise 4% and 2% deaths, respectively.[2] Therefore, it is important for all physicians, especially those dealing with oral, nasal, and pharyngeal secretions and airway directly, to follow strict guidelines during any such procedure.

Patients with neurological disease may develop COVID-19 infection, or neurological symptoms can be the first manifestation of COVID-19.[3] Neuroanesthesiologists in particular handle patients suffering from chronic neurological disease as well as neurosurgical patients who often require tracheostomy. With the spread of COVID-19 infection in the community, it is difficult to demarcate hospitals to COVID and non-COVID areas, and all areas of the hospital should take due precautions during patient handling. Tracheostomy is an aerosol-generating procedure and poses a high-risk of viral transmission to all those involved in the care of the patient, including doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, and family members. We reviewed the literature and various guidelines for tracheostomy during the COVID-19 pandemic and present a viewpoint on the same.


Artikel online veröffentlicht:
02. September 2020

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