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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).
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.