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News From the JAMA Network
September 7, 2021

Covering Tracheostomies Reduces Viral Spread to Health Care Staff

JAMA. 2021;326(9):800. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.13454

Covering a patient’s tracheostomy with a commercially available heat moisture exchanger (HME) and a surgical mask is the most effective strategy to decrease aerosolized particles and reduce the risk of viral transmission to health care workers, a study suggests. Although the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic prompted the work, the findings apply to preventing viral spread from emerging diseases during aerosol-generating procedures, the researchers wrote in JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery.