Minimising aerosol spread during endoscopic sinus and skull base surgery. Experimental model evaluation of the efficacy of the microscope drape method.
Endoscopic sinus and anterior skull base surgery is considered particularly high risk for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 transmission in the operating theatre setting. In this context, the use of a microscope drape method is proposed, to minimise aerosol spread in the wider operating theatre environment.The efficacy of the method is assessed with a simulation model, using a CMI Concept Air Trace MK2 smoke generator for aerosol generation and a Fluke 985 air particle counter to measure air particles sized 0.3-10 μm in the operating theatre environment.Aerosol spread was contained almost to baseline levels with the application of the drape barrier and the negative pressure created using suction within the drape.The method is an efficient adjunct that could reduce the risk of aerosol shedding and viral transmission to the operating theatre team. It potentially allows faster operating theatre turnover and more liberal use of powered instruments during endonasal surgery.