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Due to a vast geographical spread with diverse socio-economic conditions in the Asia Pacific countries, APLA Founding Chair, Vasant Oswal, President, David Lau, and Secretary, Vyas Prasad decided to publish guidelines on COVID-19 in the form of an ‘International Consensus', with contributions from 27 specialists from 20 countries, spanning from Australia in the East to the US in the West. The guidelines are presented in two parts: 1) The Working Knowledge of COVID-19 and 2) Safe Practices in Micro-laryngoscopy and Laryngeal Laser Surgery in the COVID-19 Era .

Part one includes the characteristics of the virus such as SARS-CoV-2, spread, transmission, detection of virus, viral load, protective measures, test and track, pathogenesis, and symptoms. Part two is more specific, aimed at laryngologists involved in managing laryngeal cases in their practices. It includes: 1) safe practice; 2) triaging COVID-19 risk, and timing of surgery; 3) operating theatre safety, anaesthesia and preop preparation; 4) anaesthesia, perioperative and postoperative protective measures; 5) practical challenges during surgery with PPE; 6) COVID-19 specific precautions when using the laser; 7) acute and chronic laryngeal lesions due to COVID-19 infection; 8) innovations, proven and unproven, that may improve safety; 9) situations where PPE is insufficient or unavailable; and 10) special considerations in children.

Knowledge about COVID-19 has evolved as the disease has spread to most countries in the world. The learning process is by no means complete and will continue to evolve as more validated experiences are published. Yet, they hope that this consensus opinion will go some way to develop safe practice within the available resources and manpower.

To view the guidelines, visit:


Prof Tatsuya Yamasoba
Far East/ASEAN Region Global Ambassador
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Tatsuya Yamasoba (Prof)

MD, PhD, Professor and Chairman, Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, University of Tokyo; Vice Dean, the Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo; IFOS board member.

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