How to avoid nosocomial spread during tracheostomy for COVID‐19 patients
Xiao, Hongjun, et al.
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To the editor, As the novel coronavirus (COVID‐19) globally spreads, the COVID‐19 pandemic is straining health‐care workers worldwide. In hospitalized patients with severe COVID‐19 infection, endotracheal intubation is one of the most common and indispensable life‐saving interventions. For patients in need of long‐term endotracheal intubation, tracheostomy may be considered. Some patients with unfavorable neck anatomy, such as short neck, enlarged thyroid, and neck cicatricial contracture, are not suitable for percutaneous tracheostomy, a minimally invasive method. In these circumstances, conventional open tracheostomy is the primary option for surgeons. However, it is one of the most hazardous procedures, because the direct airway opening and the coughing of patients causes aerosolization of the virus, potentially exposing health‐care workers. To prevent health‐care‐associated infections, we are willing to share our modified tracheostomy procedures with other surgeons worldwide.