Published on Mon Aug 30 2021

AEROSOL GENERATION DURING COUGHING - QUANTITATIVE DEFINITION FOR AEROSOL GENERATING PROCEDURES: OBSERVATIONAL STUDY

Sanmark, E., Oksanen, L.-M., Rantanen, N., Lahelma, M., Anttila, V.-J., Lehtonen, L., Hyvarinen, A.-P., Geneid, A.

Aerosol particles generated during coughing within the size range of 0.3 - 10 microm were measured with Optical Particle Sizer from 40cm, 70cm, and 100cm distances. Average aerosol concentration during coughing was 1.580 +/- 13.774 particles/cm3.

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Abstract

ABSTRACT Aim: The purpose of the study was to determine aerosol exposure generated by coughing in operation room environments to create a quantitative limit value for high risk aerosol generating medical procedures. Background: Coughing is known to produce a significant amount of aerosols and is thus commonly used as a best reference for high-risk aerosol-generation. Accordingly, procedures during which aerosol generation exceeds the amount of aerosol generated in instances of coughing are seen as high risk aerosol generating procedures. However, no reliable quantitative values are available for high risk aerosol-generation. Methods: Coughing was measured from 37 healthy volunteers in the operating room environment. Aerosol particles generated during coughing within the size range of 0.3 - 10 microm were measured with Optical Particle Sizer from 40cm, 70cm, and 100cm distances. The distances reflected potential exposure distances where personnel are during surgeries. Results: A total of 306 coughs were measured. Average aerosol concentration during coughing was 1.580 +/- 13.774 particles/cm3 (range 0.000 - 195.528). Discussion: The aerosol concentration measured in this study can be used as a limit for high-risk aerosol generation in the operating room environment when assessing the aerosol generating procedures and the risk of operating room staff s exposure for aerosol particles. AUTHOR APPROVAL:All authors have approved the manuscript and have made significant contributions.