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Simulation of aerosol and droplet spread during upper airway and gastrointestinal endoscopy

By Johannes Heymer, Florian Dengler, Alexander Krohn, Christina Jaki, Tobias Schilling, Martina Mueller-Schilling, Arne Kandulski, Matthias Ott

Posted 20 Apr 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.04.20.21255743

Objective: Aerosols and droplets are the main vectors in transmission of highly contagious SARS-Cov-2. Invasive diagnostic procedures like upper airway and gastrointestinal endoscopy have been declared as aerosol generating procedures. Protection of health care workers is crucial in times of COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: We simulated aerosol and droplet spread during upper airway and gastrointestinal endoscopy with and without physico-mechanical barriers using a simulation model. Results: A clear plastic drape as used for central venous access markedly reduced visualized aerosol and droplet spread during endoscopy. Conclusion: A simple and cheap drape has the potential to reduce aerosol and droplet spread during endoscopy. In terms of health care worker protection, this may be important particularly in low- or moderate-income countries.

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