The Safety of the Re-Opening of an Academic Medical Center Outpatient Endoscopy Unit During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Scott Manski, Christopher J. Schmoyer, Alice Pang, Joshua Lieberman, Micaela Gernhardt, Elizabeth Conn, Neveda Murugesan, Alexandra Leto, Ryan Erwin, Taylor Kavanagh, Mitchell Conn

Abstract


Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has spread globally leading to over 3,700,000 deaths. As COVID-19 cases stabilized, the re-opening of endoscopy centers potentially exposed patients and healthcare workers to viral infection. This study aims to determine risk of COVID-19 exposure among patients undergoing outpatient endoscopies in a tertiary care setting during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: Patients undergoing outpatient endoscopy were contacted post-procedure for any new COVID-19 symptoms or COVID-19 test results. Patient experiences and perception of personal safety were also determined.

Results: Of the 1,584 patients who completed elective endoscopy, 996 (62.9%) completed the survey. Two patients were diagnosed with COVID-19 within 14 days of procedure. The majority (99.7%) felt safe during their procedure and apprehension regarding endoscopy decreased over time.

Conclusion: Thus, the risk of COVID-19 transmission during outpatient endoscopy is extremely low when following recommended society guidelines. Patients felt safe during the procedure and experienced less fear of exposure over time.




Gastroenterol Res. 2022;15(4):200-206
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/gr1551

Keywords


COVID-19; Transmission; Endoscopy; Quality improvement

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