Systematic Review
Elective otological healthcare under COVID-19 contaminations risks

Elective otological healthcare under COVID-19 contaminations risks


Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Antwerp University Hospital, Edegem, Antwerp, Belgium


University of Antwerp School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Belgium


Department of Education, Health and Social Work, University College Ghent, Belgium


Hearing Research Center, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran

B-ENT 2020; 16: 73-80
DOI: 10.5152/B-ENT.2020.20207
Read: 2072 Downloads: 1168 Published: 12 June 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised unprecedented challenges for all types of medical personnel and health care workers. The avidity of the novel coronavirus for oropharynx and nasopharynx renders otolaryngologists at particular risk of infection. Therefore, the resumption of elective otological care requires personal protective equipment (PPE), thorough (pre)screening and irrefutable hand hygiene. A literature search was conducted on May 5th, 2020. All recommendations concerning otological ENT (Ear Nose Throat), both during outpatient consultation and in the operating theatre, were scored for abundance. Highly recurrent advice was using PPE during each patient encounter, social distancing in the waiting room and teleconsultation before each consultation. Concerning audiological testing, most articles advised social distancing during testing and remote hearing screeners. For resumption of elective otological surgery, preoperative screening, adequate PPE, and minimal staffing to reduce the contamination risk were most frequently advised. Awaiting an effective vaccination for the novel coronavirus, all elective otological health care requires critical appraisal of each case to assess the infectious risks for both patient and health care personnel.

Cite this article as: Lavrysen E, Gilles A, Mertens G, et al. Elective otological healthcare under COVID-19 contaminations risks. B-ENT 2020; 16(1): 73-80.

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