Aerosol generating procedures and transmission of respiratory infections to healthcare workers

Added June 2, 2020

Citation: Tran K, Cimon K, Severn M, Pessoa-Silva CL, Conly J. Aerosol Generating Procedures and Risk of Transmission of Acute Respiratory Infections to Healthcare Workers: A Systematic Review. PLoS One 2012;7(4):e35797.

What is this? The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted occupational risks for healthcare workers, including those associated with aerosol generating procedures (AGPs), such as endotracheal intubation, airway suction, chest physiotherapy, and nebulizer treatment. Existing research on these risks might provide useful information for policy makers concerned about the transmission of the SARS-Cov-2 virus.

In this systematic review, the authors searched for research into the associations between AGPs and acute respiratory infection in healthcare workers. They searched for studies published between 1990 and October 2010. They included 5 case-control studies and 5 cohort studies.

What was found: Some AGPs have been linked with high risk of acute respiratory disease (such as SARS) among frontline healthcare workers.

Among the AGPs studied, tracheal intubation was linked with the highest risk of transmission to healthcare workers.

Other AGPs identified with potential occupational risk included cardiopulmonary resuscitation and non-invasive ventilation.


Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone.