Tracheostomy and personal protective equipment (PPE) in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

C Faris, K Deben, G Van Haesendonck, C Van Laer, R Puxeddu, Katia Verbruggen, Frans Gordts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)
31 Downloads (Pure)


The primary aim was to review the guidelines published by Otolaryngology Societies for performing in the COVID-19 pandemic. A secondary aim was to briefly review the literature for the effectiveness of surgical masks, N-95 and FFP-3 respirators, and power air puryfying respirators (PAPRs) in reducing transmission of respiratory viral infections to health care workers while performing tracheostomy. Recommondations are mainly derived from clinical case series/retrospective observational studies from the SARS 2003/2004 outbreaks or experimental evidence for effectiveness for N-95/FFP-3 respirators and PAPRs. Differences do occur du to lack of evidence for COVID-19 as to whether N-95 and FFP-3 respirators are sufficient, or PAPRs should be recommended for tracheostomy. We would recommend adopting a conservative (protective) approach for HCWs teams performing tracheostomies, by routinely utilizing additional PPE such as PAPRs. Recommondations for the timing of tracheostomy also varied, however, almost all recommend a period of delay. The optimum duration of which is still unclear.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-72
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Coronavirus
  • nosocomial infection
  • personal proactive equipment
  • tracheostomy

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