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Health workers’ safety during tracheostomy in COVID-19 patients: a home-made protective screen
  • Pierre-Yves Cordier, MD
Pierre-Yves Cordier, MD
Intensive Care Unit, Laveran Military Teaching Hospital
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Abstract

As an aerosol and droplets generating procedure, tracheostomy increases contamination risks for health workers in the coronavirus disease context. To preserve the health care system capacity and to limit virus cross-transmission, protecting caregivers against coronavirus infection is of critical importance. We report the use of external fixator equipment to set up a physical interface between the patient’s neck and the caregiver performing a tracheostomy in COVID-19 patients. Once the metal frame set in place, it is wrapped with a single-use clear and sterile cover for surgical C-arm. This installation is simple, easy and fast to achieve and can be carried out with inexpensive material available in every hospital. This physical interface is an additional safety measure that prevents the direct projection of secretions or droplets. It should, of course, only be considered as a complement to strict compliance with barrier precautions and personal protective equipment.