The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes COronaVirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), has resulted in a worldwide pandemic and currently represents a major public health issue. It has caused outbreaks of illness due to person-to-person transmission of the virus mainly via close contacts and droplets produced by an infected person’s cough or sneeze. Although aerosol therapy is a mainstay procedure for treating obstructive airway diseases at home and healthcare settings, there is concern about the hypothesized enhanced risk for transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the form of aerosolised respiratory droplets during the nebulised treatment of patients with COVID-19. Consequently, the use of hand-held inhalers, particularly pressurised metered dose inhalers, has risen considerably as an alternative to nebulisers, which has led to inadequate supplies in some countries. However, switching to hand-held inhalers may result in unintended consequences for some patients, who may be unable to adequately use their new device or benefit fully from treatment via hand-held inhalers. Furthermore, there is no evidence supporting an increased risk of viral transmission during nebulisation in COVID-19 patients. Thus, there is no compelling reason to alter aerosol modality for patients with established nebuliser-based regimens. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the current evidence and understanding of the use of aerosol therapies during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and to provide some guidance on the measures to be taken to minimise the hypothetical enhanced risk of infection, if any, during aerosol therapies.
La polmonite interstiziale da SARS-CoV-2: un editoriale illuminante
Venerino Poletti Dipartimento Malattie dell’Apparato Respiratorio e del Torace, Ospedale G.B. Morgagni - L. Pierantoni, Forlì; Department of Respiratory Diseases and Allergy, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus (DK)
Andrea Rossi Direttore Emerito, Rassegna di Patologia dell’Apparato Respiratorio