|Pulmonary Function in this era of Aerosol Generating Procedures!
|A. Livingstone K. Smyth M. McCaul S. Moan E. Hayes
|Department of Respiratory Medicine, Daisy Hill Hospital, Southern Health & Social Care Trust
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|In 2019, a novel coronavirus was identified and a global pandemic was declared in March 2020. Aerosols generated by medical procedures are one route for the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are considered an aerosol generating procedure (AGPs) and this has had a significant bearing on service delivery.
Comprehensive needs assessment was undertaken to measure what changes were required to allow the provision of PFTs to continue safely. Retrospective data analysis of waiting times and influence on patient care pre and post introduction of changes has been collected.
The number of air changes per hour required was assessed to be 6. This led to adjustments being made to our extraction and filtration systems. Alterations were also made to PPE recommendations and cleaning procedures. These changes in procedure have reduced the capacity of the PFT laboratory and have led to a significant increase in waiting times.
Improvements to current protocols are allowing us to perform PFTS in a safe manner. This will enable us to provide a comprehensive service to our patients once again. Impact of increased waiting times can be lessened with adjustments to work practices.