Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Year of the Nurse - November 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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7 4 • O U T P A T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • N O V E M B E R 2 0 2 0 A nesthesia providers have been forced to alter the way they work in order to deliver safe and efficient care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of their close proximity to patients and the types of pro- cedures they perform, anesthesia professionals are among the providers most at risk of expo- sure to the coronavirus. Fortunately, several straight- forward interventions can reduce transmission risks. The latest recommendations The science continues to evolve, but experts believe COVID-19 is predominantly transmitted by droplet spread and through direct contact. Early research indicates that the highest viral load appears in sputum and upper airway secre- tions. Anesthesia providers are positioned near the patient's head, and many procedures they per- form are aerosol-generating. High- flow oxygen delivery, endotra- cheal intubation and extubation, non-invasive venti- lation and open suctioning of airways all can gener- ate droplets. Not surprisingly, guidance to help miti- gate risk associated with airway management cen- ters on avoiding aerosol-generating procedures whenever possible. Current professional society recommendations include: • Focus on "safe, accurate and swift" airway management techniques. Multiple attempts to secure an airway can increase exposure. Ensure airway devices are easy to use, so endo- tracheal tubes can be placed on the first try. • Use suitable alternatives to aerosol-generating procedures, whenever possible. • Keep as safe a distance as possible from the patient's airway while maintaining appropri- ate technique. • Use airway management tools and techniques that lessen the need for prolonged direct patient contact, which can occur with chin lift and jaw thrust maneuvers. • Opt for single-use equipment instead of reusable devices, when feasible. Placing (intubating) or removing (extubating) an endotracheal tube can cause patients to cough. Research indicates these aerosol-generating Safe Anesthesia Care During COVID-19 Take precautions to reduce exposure risks to airborne droplets. Anesthesia Alert Roxanne McMurray, DNP, APRN, CRNA PROCESS IMPROVEMENT Now is the time to refine airway management practices that may not have been applied in the early months of the pandemic. Pamela Bevelhymer, RN, BSN, CNOR

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