Impact of Aerosol Box Use on Patterns of Healthcare Provider and Environmental Contamination during Aerosol Generating Medical Procedures: A Multicenter Study
Many patients diagnosed with Coronavirus Disease 2019, or COVID-19, suffer from severe illness requiring intensive medical care. The sickest patients often require procedures, called aerosol-generating medical procedures (AGMPs), that spread virus throughout the air. When doctors perform these procedures they are at high risk of getting sick with COVID-19. A new device, called an aerosol box, has been invented to protect healthcare providers while they perform AGMPs. This device is placed over top of the patient’s head while they are lying on a stretcher, shielding the doctor’s face from viruses in the air. Unfortunately, there has been no research done describing how well the aerosol box works to protect doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists. Our study will use a plastic manikin head and chest as a patient. Teams of doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists will work together to perform AGMPs on this manikin. We will put a special powder in the manikin’s mouth. When the doctor’s perform their task, the powder will be spread throughout the air, just like a virus. Then we will use a camera and UV light to see where the powder has spread. Half of the teams will use the aerosol box, and the other half will not, which will allow us to determine if it is effective at preventing spread. By seeing where the powder has spread, we will also be able to figure out how risky each type of AGMP is for doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists. At the same time, we will measure how long it takes for them to complete the procedure. This is important because it will help hospitals decide if aerosol boxes should be routinely used when caring for COVID‑19 patients. Our study will also help hospitals develop rules to reduce healthcare provider risk when performing AGMPs during the COVID‑19 pandemic.