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Year: 2020  Vol. 24   Num. 4  - Oct/Dec
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1715506
Systematic Review
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Head and Neck Practice in the COVID-19 Pandemics Today: A Rapid Systematic Review
Flavio Carneiro Hojaij, Lucas Albuquerque Chinelatto, Gustavo Henrique Pereira Boog, Jlia Adriana Kasmirski, Joo Vitor Ziroldo Lopes, Vitor Macedo Brito Medeiros
Key words:
head and neck - otorhinolaryngology - COVID-19 - surgery - SARS-CoV-2

Introduction Head and neck specialists and otorhinolaryngologists are greatly exposed to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) transmission in their everyday praxis. Many articles are being published regarding medical staff protection and patient management during the pandemic. Objective To provide an easy access to and a trustful review of the main aspects that have changed in the head and neck surgery and otorhinolaryngology practice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Data Synthesis The search terms used were: (head and neck or otorhinolaryngology or ORL or thyroid) AND (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 [SARS-COV-2] or COVID-19 or CORONAVIRUS). The results were limited to the year of 2020. Articles were read in English, Portuguese, French, German, and Spanish or translated from Chinese. All included articles were read by at least two authors. Thirty-five articles were included. Most articles suggest postponing elective surgeries, with exception to cancer surgeries, which should be evaluated separately. Twenty-five articles recommended some kind of screening prior to surgery, using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and epidemiological data. Extra precautions, such as use of personal protective equipment (PPE), are suggested for both tracheostomies and endoscopies. Fifteen articles give recommendation on how to use telemedicine. Conclusion The use of PPE (N95 or powered air-purifying respirator [PAPR]) during procedures should be mandatory. Patients should be evaluated about their COVID-19 status before hospital admission. Cancer should be treated. Tracheostomy tube cuff should be inflated inside the tracheal incision. All COVID-19 precautions should be kept until there is a validated antiviral treatment or an available vaccine.



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