Innovative overhead transparent plastic barrier with powered suction technique intended to limit coronavirus disease 2019 aerosols spread during fiber-optic intubation and throughout the surgery

Surg Neurol Int. 2020 Dec 29:11:473. doi: 10.25259/SNI_801_2020. eCollection 2020.


Background: In the context of the current coronavirus pandemic, we propose an inexpensive, innovative overhead transparent plastic barrier with powered suction (OTPBPS) technique using materials that are ubiquitous in the hospital, easy to set up in minutes and well tolerated by the patients. As presented in this case report, it is an effective method to reduce viral spread from patients with positive or suspected yet unconfirmed coronavirus disease 2019 status.

Case description: A 49-year-old male was admitted to the hospital with a diagnosis of cervical stenosis and a C6-C7 disc herniation with spinal cord compression. The OTPBPS technique was set up to create a negative pressure environment around the patient's head, using a Mayo stand, a transparent plastic bag, and powered wall canister suction. The neurosurgeon successfully performed an anterior cervical discectomy and instrumented fusion under OTPBPS. The patient was satisfied with the intubation and anesthetic management and reported excellent feedback.

Conclusion: The OTPBPS technique helps control the spread of an aerosolized viral load from the patient's mouth or airway during awake fiber-optic intubation. This technique will help anesthesiologists and other front-line health-care providers manage copious endotracheal secretions and droplet particles, which have an immense infectious potential.

Keywords: Awake fiber-optic intubation; Coronavirus disease 2019; Plastic barrier; Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; Virus spread.

Publication types

  • Case Reports