Purpose: We aimed to analyze particle scattering during common otolaryngology examination procedures which are associated with aerosol-generating procedures.
Materials and methods: This study was conducted with 109 volunteer patients who have participated between October 2020 and January 2021. We measured aerosol and droplet production during oropharyngeal examination, anterior rhinoscopy, rigid nasopharyngoscopy, and rigid laryngoscopy. Measurements were calculated at the beginning of the examinations and during the otolaryngological examination procedures.
Results: There was no significant increase when we compared the particle scattering in each examination procedure with the basal measurements. But at the end of all examination methods for each patient, there was a significant increase at each micrometer. When all examination methods are compared with each other, particle increases in the oropharyngeal examination with larger particle sizes than 0,5 μm were found to be higher than other examination methods. We analyzed six patients' measurements, who coughed, gagged, or sneezed during the nasal endoscopy procedure, there was a significant increase in terms of 0,3 μm particle scattering.
Conclusion: When all examination methods are performed together, there is a significant particle increase in all particle sizes in the examination room at the end of the examinations. This causes otolaryngologists to be exposed to a significant particle increase at each micrometer. Because of this reason, otolaryngologists should be careful and should wear personal protective equipment while examining patients.