Title

Surgical Considerations for an Awake Tracheotomy during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

5-1-2020

Journal

Journal of Laparoendoscopic and Advanced Surgical Techniques

Volume

30

Issue

5

DOI

10.1089/lap.2020.0239

Keywords

COVID-19; pandemic; tracheotomy

Abstract

© Copyright 2020, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers 2020. Background: The current global COVID-19 pandemic is caused by the novel coronavirus Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Given that SARS-CoV-2 is highly transmissible, surgical societies have recommended that procedures with a high risk of aerosolization be avoided or delayed. However, some high-risk procedures, such as those related to head and neck malignancies, cannot always be delayed. Care must be taken during aerosol-generating procedures to minimize viral transmission as much as possible. Preoperative testing for COVID-19, limited operating room personnel, adequate personal protective equipment, and surgical technique are factors to consider for high-risk procedures. Methods: This article presents the case of an awake tracheotomy performed for a transglottic mass causing airway obstruction. Results: With detailed planning and specific techniques, the amount of aerosolization was reduced, and the procedure was performed as safely as possible. Conclusion: This case provides a template for future aerosol-generating procedures during respiratory pandemics.

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