According to a new research published on Tuesday, removing or inserting breathing tubes from patients, which were thought could cause severe risk of Covid-19 transmission to health workers, was revealed to create less aerosols when compared to a normal cough.
Doctors and nurses were particularly concerned that intubation ( the act of inserting a tube in the airway of a patient to help them breathe) might create a mist of COVID-19 viral particles and could create a very dangerous infection problem for hospital staff.
Because of this, health authorities in Britain classified the procedure as ‘aerosol generating procedures’. This means operating rooms will be cleaned by a special aerosol removing technique, and health workers need to protect themselves using respirators and a good level of personal protective equipments.
Using this procedure has “dramatically” slowed the rate surgery and added to long hospital waiting lists, said researchers.
The journal of the Association of Anaesthetists, which was published in Anaesthesia, revealed that both insertion and removal of breathing tube after surgery produce less aerosol than had been assumed previously.
The research has not been performed on COVID-19 patients for safety reasons.
Authors from the University of Bristol and hospitals in Bristol and Bath has suggested texplained isk levels of the procedures be reconsidered.
“The results suggest that during anaesthesia tube insertion should not be considered a high-risk procedure,” the authors explained.
“We detected no increases in aerosolised particles during face-mask ventilation, airway suction or repeated attempts at intubation,” they wrote.
“This reflects typical clinical practice by anaesthetists with a range of experience, providing further reassurance regarding the low level of aerosol generation.”
The researchers calculated the amount of aerosols formed during various anaesthesia techniques when inserting and removing tubes from patients’ airways.
The researchers monitored 19 tube insertions and 14 tube removals and realized that insertion of tube generated approximately one thousandth of aerosol that can be created from a single cough.
It was realised that removal of the tubes produced more aerosol. Removal of tubes can come with a cough, which happens sometimes when patients resume breathing after removal of the tube.
But researchers have revealed that the aerosol produced were less than 25 per cent of the aerosol produced by a cough.
The authors sighted that their research was limited because they were not able to study the risk of transmitting the new corona virus. They further explained that the research might have various complications when protective equipment are shared in hospitals.