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European Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 2021 December;5(3):95-9

DOI: 10.23736/S2532-3466.20.00246-5


lingua: Inglese

Procedures under local anesthetic in COVID-19 pandemic: how safe?

Nadia ARIKAT , Kim LEWIS, Satyajeet BHATIA

1 University Dental Hospital and University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Heath Park, Cardiff, UK

BACKGROUND: The risk of morbidity and mortality has been high for surgical patients and for healthcare workers providing treatment in COVID-19 pandemic. Is this risk high when the patients are treated in outpatients under local anesthetic? This service review looks at the outcomes for the patients and surgeons in such a setting.
METHODS: Prospectively collected data were analyzed for patients and surgeons for procedures performed under local anesthetic in outpatients at Maxillofacial unit at University Dental Hospital, Cardiff, UK from March 1 to April 8, 2020 (when weekly R factor was between 2.4-0.9 in Wales). Patients’ COVID-19 status at presentation and 2 weeks postoperatively, surgical procedure, age, sex, medical conditions, significant medical history and their return to the outpatients with complications and associated data for surgeons, with their consent, was reviewed.
RESULTS: Three hundred and thirty-eight patients had procedures such as simple extractions, surgical extractions, incision and drainage of facial/dentoalveolar abscesses and excisions of oral and head and neck skin cancers. Thirty-six (11%) had aerosol-generating procedures with 21% (70) having significant medical history. Thirty-nine (12%) patients returned with minor complaints. No patient or surgeon required admission to hospital with COVID-19 or surgical related complaints with no mortality in either of the groups.
CONCLUSIONS: The study reveals that the procedures done under local anesthetic do not appear to have unfavorable outcomes for the patients and operators with appropriate personal protective equipment. The use of local anesthetic should be explored as an alternative in COVID-19 pandemic for better surgical outcomes.

KEY WORDS: COVID-19; Surgical procedures, operative; Anesthetics, local

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