Management of ear, nose, and throat out patient department in COVID-19 pandemic, experience: a descriptive study

Shashidhar S. Suligavi, Saif N. Saiyad, Sangappa S. Doddamani, Mallikarjun Patil, Archana Mathri, Divya K. V.


Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus responsible for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has a predilection for infecting the mucosa of the upper and lower airways. Otolaryngologists and supporting health care workers (HCWs) are particularly at high risk of becoming infected while treating patients as many in-office procedures and Aerosol Generating Medical Procedures (AGMP). Based on a review of the literature and various guidelines, recommendations are made to mitigate the risk to health care workers from becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 while providing clinical care. During the COVID-19 pandemic, all elective and non-time sensitive Otolaryngology procedures should be deferred to mitigate the risk of transmission of infection to HCWs. Objective of the study was to describe outpatient presentations requiring otolaryngology consultation and provide recommendations for protective measures based on the experience of ENT department in S Nijalingappa Medical College.

Methods: Personal protective equipment (PPE) use and infection control strategies implemented for ENT outpatients in S. N. Medical College, Bagalkot.

Results: After implementation of infection control strategies for outpatient clinics, no health care workers were infected in the ENT OPD.

Conclusion: Otolaryngologists play an indispensable role in the treatment of COVID-19 patients but, due to their work, are at high risk of exposure. Appropriate protective strategies can prevent infection to otolaryngologists.



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