Update on biological risk for anesthetists taking care of patients affected by SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19

  • Gustavo Calabrese Confederation of Latin American Societies of Anaesthesiology (CLASA), Professional Risk Committee
Keywords: Airway, COVID-19, Coronavirus, Prevention, Protection, Anesthesiologist


Biological risks are currently of great interest and concern due to the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic. In this setting, the exposure of anesthetists and healthcare personnel to patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome-CoV-2 causing COVID-19 in their professional practice makes an update in the knowledge of the subject essential. The aim is prevention and protection during procedures entailing a higher risk, as is the case of the so-called aerosol generators (by inhalation of droplets). Therefore, we recommend extreme standard precautions focused on hand washing and barrier protection through the use of personal protective equipment in accordance with comprehensive prevention and protection protocols for anesthetists, patients, and operating rooms.


1. Calabrese G, Aldrete JA, Guevara L opez U. Riesgos profesionales. Texto de anestesiología te orico-práctico México: Manual Moderno; 2003;1477–1498.

2. Calabrese G. Duval Neto GF. Evaluación del bienestar ocupacional de los anestesiólogos en diferentes partes del mundo. El bienestar ocupacional en anestesiología Rio de Janeiro: Sociedad Brasileña de Anestesiología/SBA; 2014;15–36.

3. Calabrese G. Torres Morera LM, Neira Reina F. Enfermedades profesionales del anestesiólogo. Tratado de anestesia y reanimación España: Aran Ediciones, SA; 2012;32–37.

4. Calabrese G. Guía de prevención y protección de los riesgos profesionales del anestesiólogo. Anest Analg Rean 2006;20:4–40.

5. Calabrese G. La salud del anestesiólogo. Riesgos biológicos y ambientales. Rev Arg Anest 2005;63:235–252.

6. Edler AA. Avian flu (H5N1): its epidemiology, prevention, and implications for anesthesiology. J Clin Anesth 2006;18:1–4.

7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Outbreak of swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) virus infection—Mexico, March–April 2009. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2009;58:467–470.

8. Zhu N, Zhang D, Wang W, et al. A novel coronavirus from patients with pneumonia in China, 2019. N Engl J Med Adv 2020;382:727–733.

9. Huang C, Wang Y, Li X, et al. Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Lancet 2020;395:497–506.

10. World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation reports. 2020. Disponible en: https://www.who.int/docs/ default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200330-sitrep-70-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=7e0fe3f8_2. [Actualizado March 30, 2020; citado March 31, 2020].

11. Peng PWH, Ho PL, Hota SS. Outbreak of a new coronavirus: what anaesthetists should know. Br J Anaesth 2020;124:497–501.

12. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [internet]. 2019 Novel coronavirus. 2020. Disponible en: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html. [Citado March 31, 2020].

13. Nicolle L. SARS safety and science. Can J Anesth 2003;50:983–988.

14. Loeb M, McGeer A, Henry B, et al. SARS among critical care nurses, Toronto. Emerg Infect Dis 2004;10:251–255.

15. Li Q, Guan X, Wu P, et al. Early transmission dynamics in Wuhan, China, of novel coronavirus-infected pneumonia. N Engl J Med 2020;382:1199–1207.

16. Chen N, Zhou M, Dong X, et al. Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 99 cases of 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a descriptive study. Lancet 2020;395:507–513.

17. World Health Organization [internet]. Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) technical guidance: infection prevention and control/WASH. 2020. Disponible en: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance/infectionprevention-and-control. [Citado March 31, 2020].

18. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [internet]. Interim infection prevention and control recommendations for patients with suspected or confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in healthcare settings. 2020. Disponible en: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-cov/infection-control/control-recommendations.html. [Actualizado March 19, 2020; consultado March 31, 2020].

19. Orser B. Coronavirus and safety precaution. University of Toronto. Anesthesiol Pain Med 2020;Disponible en: https://www.anesthesia.utoronto.ca/news/coronavirus-and-safety-precautions. [Actualizado March 20, 2020; consultado March 31, 2020]

20. Kah Ti L, Ang LS, Foong TW, et al. What we do when a COVID-19 patient needs an operation: operating room preparation and guidance. Can J Anesth 2020;67:756–758.

21. American Society of Anesthesiologists; Task Force on Infection Control, Committee on Occupational Health of Operating Room Personnel Recommendations for infection control for the practice of anesthesiology. 2.a ed.Illinois: Park Ridge; 1998.

22. Organización Panamericana de la Salud/Organización Mundial de la Salud. Requerimientos para uso de equipos de protección personal (EPP) para el nuevo coronavirus (2019-nCoV) en establecimientos de salud. [Versión sujeta a revisión] 2020. Disponible en: https://www.paho.org/es/documentos/requerimientos-para-usoequipos-proteccion-personal-epp-para-nuevo-coronavirus-2019-ncov. [Actualizada February 6, 2020; citado March 31, 2020].

23. Dexter F, Parra M, Brown J, et al. Perioperative COVID-19 defense: an evidence-based approach for optimization of infection control and operating room management. Anesth Analg J 2020;DOI:10.1213/ANE.0000000000004829.

24. American Society of Anesthesiologist [internet]. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for health care professionals recommendations. 2020. Disponible en: https://www.asahq.org/. [Actualizado March 31, 2020; citado March 31, 2020].

25. Wax RS, Christian MD. Practical recommendations for critical care and anesthesiology teams caring for novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) patients. Can J Anesth 2020;67:568–576.

26. Zuo MZ, Huang YG, Ma WH, et al. Expert recommendations for tracheal intubation in critically ill patients with novel coronavirus disease 2019. Chin Med Sci J 2020;DOI: 10.24920/003724.

27. Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, University of Toronto. Best practice recommendations for anesthesiologists during intubation of patients with coronavirus. 2020; University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada: Disponible en: https://www.anesthesia.utoronto.ca/news/coronavirus-and-safety-precautions. [Actualizado March 16, 2020; citado March 25, 2020]

28. Zucco L, Levy N, Ketchandji D, et al. Recommendations for airway management in a patient with suspected coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection. 2020;Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation, Boston, USA: Disponible en: https://www.apsf.org/wp-content/uploads/news-updates/2020/apsf-coronavirus-airway-management-infographic.pdf. [Citado March 31, 2020]

29. Australian Society of Anaesthetists. Anaesthesia and caring for patients during the COVID-19 outbreak. 2020; Australian Society of Anaesthetists, Australia: Disponible en: https://www.asa.org.au/wordpress/wpcontent/uploads/News/eNews/covid19/ASA_airway_management.pdf. [Actualizado March 27, 2020; citado March 31, 2020]

30. Zucco L, Levy N, Ketchandji D, et al. Perioperative considerations for the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). 2020;Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation, Minnesota, USA:Disponible en: https://www.apsf.org/news-updates/perioperative-considerationsfor-the-2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/. [Actualizado March 10, 2020; citado March 31, 2020]

31. Chen R, Zhang Y, Huang L, et al. Safety and efficacy of different anesthetic regimens for parturients with COVID-19 undergoing cesarean delivery: a case series of 17 patients. Can J Anesth 2020;67:655–663.

32. Chen H, Guo J, Chen W, et al. Clinical characteristics and intrauterine vertical transmission potential of COVID-19 infection in nine pregnant women: a retrospective review of medical records. Lancet 2020;395:809–815.

33. Favre G, Pomar L, Qi X, et al. Guidelines for pregnant women with suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection. Lancet 2020;DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30157-2.

34. World Health Organization.Cumulative number of reported cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome. 2020;World Health Organization: Disponible en: https://www.who.int/csr/sars/country/2003_04_03/en/. [Citado March 9, 2020]
How to Cite
Calabrese G. Update on biological risk for anesthetists taking care of patients affected by SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19. Colomb. J. Anesthesiol. [Internet]. 2020 Jul. 1 [cited 2024 May 25];48(3):138-44. Available from: https://www.revcolanest.com.co/index.php/rca/article/view/905


Download data is not yet available.
How to Cite
Calabrese G. Update on biological risk for anesthetists taking care of patients affected by SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19. Colomb. J. Anesthesiol. [Internet]. 2020 Jul. 1 [cited 2024 May 25];48(3):138-44. Available from: https://www.revcolanest.com.co/index.php/rca/article/view/905
Narrative review


Article metrics
Abstract views
Galley vies
PDF Views
HTML views
Other views
QR Code

Some similar items: