Coronavirus found in the Middle Ear and Mastoid Cavities
Research done by a team from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (Kaitlyn M. Frazier, MD, Jody E. Hooper, MD, Heba H. Mostafa, MBBCh, PhD, D(ABMM), and C. Matthew Stewart, MD, PhD), was published early this year in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. It showed that the SARS-CoV-2 was found in middle ear spaces and mastoid cavities of two of three patients who died with COVID-19. This proves the need for vigilance and caution when conducting audiological examinations and procedures.
As pointed out in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Dr. Bradley Kesser states:
“Given the high asymptomatic rate of COVID-19 cases, the researchers state that caution is warranted for all elective ear surgery and recommend testing to verify negative status of patients. Droplet precautions (including eye protection and proper N95 level mask) are warranted for outpatient procedures involving the middle ear due to proximity to these potentially infectious spaces”.1
This was yet another factor which encouraged us to host a webinar titled: KUDUwave for COVID-19 & Beyond. We delved into this discussion with many professionals ranging in occupation from doctors to occupational health practitioners, and provided various solutions which can be incorporated into audiological examinations which protect both patients and medical facilitators.
A key factor which can be obviously identified when exploring the facts we know about COVID-19 is that open-air testing in conjunction with the wearing of face masks and disinfecting surfaces, is one of the strongest stances against COVID-19 cross contamination and infection. Some might have the notion that in the audiometry field open air-testing has one obvious hurdle; the sound booth, however the boothless, KUDUwave diagnostic audiometer, which now includes simultaneous bilateral tympanometry and simultaneous ipsi and contra – acoustic reflexes, is ripe for the market. The KUDUwave has already proven to be the diagnostic tool of choice for the ototoxicity monitoring program initiated for the treatment of patients diagnosed with MDR-TB in South Africa (also a highly infectious disease transferred through airborne bacteria).
Watch the full webinar regarding open air testing in a time of COVID-19 to prevent cross contamination of patients and decreasing the risk of medical practitioner infections. Also discover 2 ways to conduct tele-medicine with focus on audiometry and tympanometry.