Last updated: April 3, 2020
COVID-19 positive patients undergoing aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) increase the risk of transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. CDC recommendation is to ideally perform all AGPs in Airborne Infection Isolation Rooms (AIIRs) which are negative pressure rooms. This recommendation leads individuals to consider performing surgeries and other procedures that are normally performed in positive pressure rooms in negative pressure rooms due to the possibility of aspiration generation.
ASHE recommends that health care organizations perform surgeries and other procedures on COVID-19 positive patients following the same guidelines for active TB patients:
- Only medically necessary surgeries or procedures should be scheduled and performed “after hours” or when there are no other non-COVID-19 positive patients within the suite.
- Develop a dedicated COVID-19 operating room and procedure room.
- Minimizing the amount of equipment and supplies in room is one proven action to prevent transmission.
- Minimize staff within the operating or procedure room and all staff involved should wear N95 respirators.
- All doors to the operating or procedure room should be kept closed as much as possible. Assigning a runner outside of the room who will retrieve medications, instrumentation and other supplies to minimize opening of doors should be considered.
- If possible intubation and extubation should be performed in an Airborne Infection Isolation Room.
- Terminal Cleaning should be performed only after the necessary number of air changes has occurred to remove potentially infections particles. See the CDC table B.1 for appropriate time frames.
If it is determined to provide negative pressure for these services leaving the room ventilation in a positive pressure status and utilizing a negative pressure anteroom with separate entrance between operating or procedure room and main hallway is recommended. This anteroom can also be used for donning and doffing PPE and the placing of supplies that are needed after case begins.
This document is provided by ASHE as a service to its members. The information provided may not apply to a reader’s specific situation and is not a substitute for application of the reader’s own independent judgment or the advice of a competent professional. ASHE does not make any guaranty or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in this document. ASHE and the authors disclaim liability for personal injury, property damage, or other damages of any kind, whether special, indirect, consequential, or compensatory, that may result directly or indirectly from use of or reliance on this document.
COVID-19 resources for health care facilities
This timely ASHE resource page covering emergency preparedness, infection control and more assists health care facilities managers in their efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by keeping the physical environment safe.View COVID-19 Resources