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How to manage an endoscopy unit during a COVID-19 pandemic

Open AccessPublished:May 10, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vgie.2020.03.007
      COVID-19 has become a global public health concern.
      • Wang C.
      • Horby P.W.
      • Hayden F.G.
      • Gao G.F.
      A novel coronavirus outbreak of global health concern.
      Because of potential aerosol transmission, GI endoscopy is considered a high-risk procedure during this pandemic.
      • Zhang H.
      • Kang Z.
      • Gong H.
      • et al.
      The digestive system is a potential route of 2019-nCov infection: a bioinformatics analysis based on single-cell transcriptomes.
      However, it is irrational to stop all endoscopic procedures. Instead, for a careful trade-off between potential risk of hospital infection and performance of lifesaving procedures, the selection of indications for emergency endoscopy cannot be overemphasized; necessary endoscopic procedures should be performed with patients and healthcare providers all well protected. Preventing COVID-19 transmission in endoscopy units is an important problem that faces many gastroenterology departments.
      Video 1 (available online at www.VideoGIE.org/) shows how to manage an endoscopy unit during the COVID-19 pandemic, with specific details on workflow, screening of staff, screening of patients, management in preprocedure areas and endoscopy rooms, postprocedural management, environment disinfection, endoscopy disinfection, and patient follow-up. We also provide details on how to put on and remove personal protective equipment (Fig. 1).
      Figure thumbnail gr1
      Figure 1Steps of wearing and removing personal protective equipment during COVID-19.
      In conclusion, the importance of an epidemiologic survey and screening of patients and staff cannot be overemphasized during the pandemic. In addition to adequate personal protective equipment, hand hygiene and compliance with protocols are important. Special caution should be taken to prevent transmission among medical staff. Our success in preventing endoscopy unit transmission of COVID-19 is dependent on every team member.

      Disclosure

      All authors disclosed no financial relationships.

      Supplementary data

      References

        • Wang C.
        • Horby P.W.
        • Hayden F.G.
        • Gao G.F.
        A novel coronavirus outbreak of global health concern.
        Lancet. 2020; 395: 470-473
        • Zhang H.
        • Kang Z.
        • Gong H.
        • et al.
        The digestive system is a potential route of 2019-nCov infection: a bioinformatics analysis based on single-cell transcriptomes.
        BioRxiv. 2020; (Epub 2020 Jan 31)