Electrocautery as an Aerosol generating Procedure

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Whilst electrocautery is not listed in the widely published lists of AGP, in some experimental models electrocautery has been demonstrated to generate aerosols. In view of this Members should consider employing some form of smoke extraction and wear PPE appropriate for AGP when using electrocautery.


Useful supporting links and documents:

Clinical evidence-based review and recommendations of aerosol generating medical procedures in otolaryngology –head and neck surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic
Andrew Thamboo1, Jane Lea, Doron D. Sommer, Leigh Sowerby, Arman Abdalkhani, Christopher Diamond, Jennifer Ham, Austin Heffernan, M. Cai Long, Jobanjit Phulka, Yu Qi Wu, Phillip Yeung and Marc Lammers Journal of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (2020) 49:28

The characterization of surgical smoke from various tissues and its implications for occupational safety.
Karjalainen M, Kontunen A, Saari S, RoÈnkkoÈ T, Lekkala J, Roine A, et al. (2018)
PLoS ONE 13(4): e0195274. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0195274

Surgical Smoke Simulation Study: Physical Characterization and Respiratory Protection
Yousef Elmashae, Richard H. Koehler, Michael Yermakov, Tiina Reponen, Sergey A. Grinshpun. Aerosol Sci Technol. 2018 ; 52(1): 38–45. doi:10.1080/02786826.2017.1373180.

Canadian Society of Oculoplastic Surgery Position Statement: Guidelines on personal protective equipment (PPE) during COVID-19 pandemic for oculoplastic and orbital surgery:

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