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AEROCOMP - Aerosol precautions and airway complications


"The perceived risk of transmission of aerosolised viral particles from patients to airway practitioners during the COVID-19 pandemic led to the widespread use of aerosol precautions, including personal protective equipment and modifications to anaesthetic technique. The risk of these aerosol precautions on peri-operative airway complications has not been assessed outside of simulation studies. This prospective, national, multicentre cohort study aimed to quantify this risk." Results now out: https://associationofanaesthetists-publications.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/anae.15851

Correspondence: aerocompstudy@gmail.com

Twitter: @aerocompstudy


Summary of data and discussion:




"Data from 5905 patients from 70 hospital sites were included. The rate of airway complications was 10.0% (95%CI 9.2–10.8%). Use of filtering facepiece class 2 or class 3 respirators was associated with an increased risk of airway complications (odds ratio 1.38, 95%CI 1.04–1.83), predominantly due to an association with difficult facemask ventilation (odds ratio 1.68, 95%CI 1.09–2.61) and desaturation on pulse oximetry (odds ratio 2.39, 95%CI 1.26–4.54). Use of goggles, powered air-purifying respirators, long-sleeved gowns, double gloves and videolaryngoscopy were not associated with any alteration in the risk of airway complications. Overall, the use of filtering facepiece class 2 or class 3 respirators was associated with an increased risk of airway complications, but most aerosol precautions used during the COVID-19 pandemic were not."


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