CSO (Canadian Society of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery) position paper on rhinologic and skull base surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic Chan, Yvonne; Banglawala, Sarfaraz M; Chin, Christopher J; Côté, David W J; Dalgorf, Dustin; de Almeida, John R; Desrosiers, Martin; Gall, Richard M; Gevorgyan, Artur; Hassan Hassan, A.; Janjua, Arif; Lee, John M; Leung, Randy M; Mechor, Bradford D; Mertz, Dominik; Monteiro, Eric; Nayan, Smriti; Rotenberg, Brian; Scott, John; Smith, Kristine A; Sommer, Doron D; Sowerby, Leigh; Tewfik, Marc A; Thamboo, Andrew; Vescan, Allan; Witterick, Ian J
Healthcare services in many countries have been partially or completely disrupted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic since its onset in the end of 2019. Amongst the most impacted are the elective medical and surgical services in order to conserve resources to care for COVID-19 patients. As the number of infected patients decrease across Canada, elective surgeries are being restarted in a staged manner. Since Otolaryngologists – Head & Neck Surgeons manage surgical diseases of the upper aerodigestive tract where the highest viral load reside, it is imperative that these surgeries resume in a safe manner. The aim of this document is to compile the current best evidence available and provide expert consensus on the safe restart of rhinologic and skull base surgeries while discussing the pre-operative, intra-operative, and post-operative care and tips. Risk assessment, patient selection, case triage, and pre-operative COVID-19 testing will be analyzed and discussed. These guidelines will also consider the optimal use of personal protective equipment for specific cases, general and specific operative room precautions, and practical tips of intra-operative maneuvers to optimize patient and provider safety. Given that the literature surrounding COVID-19 is rapidly evolving, these recommendations will serve to start our specialty back into elective rhinologic surgeries over the next months and they may change as we learn more about this disease.
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