The Role of Locoregional Anesthesia in the Covid-19 Pandemic

Ângela Barbosa Mendes, Constança Penedos, Luísa Vaz Rodrigues, Joana Varandas, Neusa Lages, Humberto Machado


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) refers to the respiratory tract infection caused by the newly emergent coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The present pandemic, declared on the 11th of March 2020, was first recognized in Wuhan city, and rapidly spread throughout China and other countries, including Portugal. Regional anesthesia should be considered whenever surgery is planned for a patient with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, as it minimizes not only airway management, the intervention with the highest risk of aerosolization, but also potential personnel contamination and patient recovery time, while maximizing operation room efficiency. Anesthesia techniques should be aimed at preventing airway manipulation such as endotracheal intubation, which is associated with a higher risk of pulmonary complications in infected patients. These recommendations are structured in pre-, intra-, and post-operative management in suspected or confirmed infected patients with SARS-CoV-2, based in local hospital infection committee recommendations and the most recent literature available regarding regional anaesthesia. They are aimed at anesthesiology personnel, with the main goals being both team
and patient safety. The SARS-CoV-2 virus will be not the last novel virus to trigger global pandemics, so having a well-structured regional anesthesia plan to manage this kind of cases will ensure the best outcome possible to both patients and the perioperative team.


Anesthesia, Conduction; Anesthesia, Local; Coronavirus; Pandemics

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