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1. I put on clean masks and gloves prior to interviewing my patients. I feel that clean gloves and masks in all patient contact areas should be allowed to help in curtailing spread of this highly infectious virus.
We recommend that health care professionals and patients follow the guidelines specified in the CDC’s “Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Healthcare Personnel During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic.” The recommendations pertain to all US healthcare settings and stipulate the use of cloth face coverings or facemasks to cover a person’s mouth and nose to prevent spread of respiratory secretions when they are talking, sneezing, or coughing. Because of the potential for asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, these measures are recommended for everyone in a healthcare facility, even if they do not have symptoms of COVID-19. Hand hygiene remains a cornerstone of good medical practice to prevent the spread of any infectious disease.
2. Does ASA have any specific recommendations on hand hygiene for a patient with COVID-19 for the duration of a surgical case once the airway has been secured?
3. Should the plastic draping on any video laryngoscope used for a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 intubation patient be removed each time or can the draping, if plastic, be wiped down?
The plastic draping should be removed and discarded after use.
4. Should faculty covering potential COVID-19 cases in two different operating rooms follow OHSA guidelines and change PPE every time they travel back and forth between rooms?
ASA recommends working closely with your facility and infection control experts to determine the most appropriate strategy for PPE conservation. Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, recommended practice was to completely remove PPE once you leave the immediate care of a patient. A provider would then don completely new PPE to care for the next patient.
In order to preserve PPE, anesthesia professionals moving between two operating rooms containing patients testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 should remove gloves, practice hand hygiene and don a new pair; change gowns, and clean any visible soil on face shields. Additionally, face masks should be changed if visibly soiled. Shoe covers, hair covering, and face masks that are visibly clean do not need to be changed.
5. Where can I find physician health and wellness resources?
Viewers of this material should review these FAQs with appropriate medical and legal counsel and make their own determinations as to relevance to their particular practice setting and compliance with state and federal laws and regulations. The ASA has used its best efforts to provide accurate information. However, this material is provided only for informational purposes and does not constitute medical or legal advice. This response also should not be construed as representing ASA policy (unless otherwise stated), making clinical recommendations, dictating payment policy, or substituting for the judgment of a physician and consultation with independent legal counsel.