Outpatient Surgery Magazine

COVID-19 Crisis - April 2020 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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says Ashish Sinha, MD, PhD, DABA, MBA, FASA, a professor at the University of California Riverside, and designated institutional official and program director of anesthesiology at UC Riverside/Riverside Community Hospital. Interestingly, the COVID-19 pandemic may lead to an increase in administrations of spinal anesthesia — even among patients averse to the technique. The reason? Intubation for general anes- thesia is inherently dangerous and should be avoided unless absolutely necessary — especially with an unchecked virus spreading that has no vaccine or cure. "When you administer a general anesthetic, as opposed to a spinal anesthetic, you have to put a breathing tube in the patients' trachea, which is an aerosolizing procedure," says Dr. Sinha. "Anything from the lungs of that patient, including viruses, may be released into the air of the room and land on any surface, including exposed skin or mucous membranes." That, of course, presents a risk of viral expo- sure to the OR staff. "Patients may be easier to convince or medical providers may push a little harder for spinal anesthesia in the post-COVID-19 future," says Dr. Sinha. "The most important thing is consistent messaging. If the surgeons, anesthesiologists and nursing staff are all saying the same thing — 'In your case, spinal anesthesia is the best way' — then patients are more likely to respond to that message." Dr. Li says postoperative side effects of spinal anesthesia are A P R I L 2 0 2 0 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y. N E T • 6 5 Patients may be easier to convince in the post-COVID future. Ashish Sinha, MD, PhD, DABA, MBA, FASA

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