Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by infection with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). The transmission of coronaviruses occurs via direct contact, droplets, and aerosols. Healthcare professionals involved in airway management of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 are at high risk of exposure and subsequent infection, as has been observed in previous coronavirus epidemics. This risk is most pronounced in aerosol-generating procedures such as intubation. On March 22, 2020, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (Schaumburg, Illinois), in partnership with other professional organizations, offered guidance for the use of personal protective equipment that have been interpreted by some providers as recommending the use of airborne precautions for all aerosol-generating procedures during the pandemic.

Healthcare systems operating under pandemic conditions may need to balance the protection of staff with the allocation of scarce resources, including personal...

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