COVID-19 Infection and Its Influence in Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery


Int. Arch. Otorhinolaryngol.




Abstract Introduction The novel coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has rapidly spread worldwide, challenging healthcare resources and communities to an unprecedent degree. Simultaneously, the amount of clinical and scientific information released has overwhelmed journal platforms. Objectives This review aims to summarize the available diagnostic tools and current guidelines to safely assist patients while limiting the exposure of otolaryngologists during this pandemic. Data Synthesis Key articles were retrieved from the following databases: PubMed, Lancet, Springer Nature, BioMed Central, JAMA network and MEDLINE, as well as updated documents from the Spanish Ministry of Health, World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Spanish Association of Surgeons, ENT-UK, American College of Surgeons, and American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. The terms used for the search were: COVID-19, Test COVID, Surgery in COVID, 2019-nCoV, ‘coronavirus’, and SARS-CoV-2. A total of 10,245 papers were retrieved. The inclusion criteria for the review included: COVID-19 testing (n = 531), society guidelines for otolaryngology-head and neck surgery patient care in the outpatient clinic (n = 10) and surgical (n = 18) settings. Studies not related to COVID-19 diagnosis were excluded. Conclusion Healthcare institutions around the world are outlining their own protocols regarding laboratory testing and personnel protective equipment usage based upon medical societies recommendations during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have summarized the available laboratory tests and their respective sensitivity and specificity. Moreover, clinical guidelines from different societies were reviewed and summarized to facilitate guidance for otolaryngologists in the operating room and in the clinical settings.

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