COVID-19 patients and the use of smoke evacuation
First of all we want to say thank you to all the medical staff for assuring the medical care in this extraordinary situation! The coronavirus has kept us in suspense since it broke out and determines our daily life. The priority is peoples health. OR personnel and patients have to trust the medical products – more than ever.
Different societies such as the European Society of Gynaecologic Endoscopy (ESGE) and the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) have published meanwhile recommendations on how to treat COVID-19 patients during a surgical procedure. The societies strongly recommend, in addition to own personal protective equipment, the use of smoke evacuation in open and laparoscopic cases.
Available information on the SARS-CoV-2 virus
The particle size of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is between 60 and 140 nm.1 At the moment there is no clinical study available on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 viruses through surgical smoke.
Besides other measures there are certain protection recommendations regarding the use of smoke evacuation systems.2, 3
1. Na Zhu, Ph.D., Dingyu Zhang, M.D., Wenling Wang et al. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/ NEJMoa2001017/; retrieved 15.04.2020
2. COVID-19 FAQs. Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) Website. https://www.aorn.org/guidelines/aorn-support/covid19-faqs; retrieved 15.04.2020
3. Zheng M, Boni L, Fingerhut A. Minimally invasive surgery and the novel coronavirus outbreak: lessons learned in China and Italy, Annals of Surgery. 2020.9.; retrieved 15.04.2020