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I’m sure we have all wondered how safe we are in the operating theatre from virus circulating in the room and therefore the risk of subsequent COVID-19 infection. The authors addressed this by measuring the airborne particle concentrations in the operating room during five independent surgeries of multiple sizes. The surgeries included FESS, an orbital abscess drainage, and three skull base tumour resections. They found a higher rate of aerosolised particles in the room during microdebrider and drill use, and the highest rates in the operating surgeon position. They draw the conclusion that the operating surgeon should continue to follow guidance to wear PPE during these kinds of procedures but perhaps for the anaesthetist and the circulating staff, full PPE may not be required as the degree of aerosols in the air is much lower. Certainly interesting and largely reassuring data, as the initial reports from Wuhan suggested that circulating virus in the OR could easily infect the entire room.

Quantification of aerosol particle concentrations during endoscopic sinus surgery in the operating room.
Murr A, Lenze NR, Brown WC, et al.
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Joanna Stephens

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, UK.

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