OBJECTIVES: To survey a group of global pediatric otolaryngology specialists to assess their usage and access to personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic .
METHODS: A survey of 13 questions was created collecting information on: basic demographics of practice, types of PPE used for procedures of varying aerosolization risk, access to positive air-purifying respirator (PAPR) and patient testing for SARS-CoV-2 . Pediatric otolaryngologists were invited to complete the survey via Whatsapp™ .
RESULTS : 96 responses were collected from 17 different countries . N95 was the most commonly utilized PPE when dealing with COVID-19 patients (64.2% -81.9% depending on aerosolization risk of the procedure). Significantly higher use of PAPR was noted in high-risk aerosolization generating medical procedures, when compared to other risks . Face covering was used consistently (91.6 %). Most respondents (78.1%, n = 75) had access to PAPR or had at least requested it . The majority of patients (56.2%, n = 54) was being tested for SARS-CoV-2 prior to procedures performed in operating rooms (OR); whereas, only 1.1% (n = 1) of clinic patients were tested for SARS-CoV-2 irrespective of the history or symptomatology .
CONCLUSIONS: Most pediatric otolaryngologists used N95 and some form of face covering (eg . goggles, face shields) when dealing with patients with COVID-19 positive status. PAPR was used in situations of high aerosolization risk . Majority of respondents were screening all patients prior to procedures in the operating room.