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Endosc Int Open ; 8(12): E1865-E1871, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-955865

ABSTRACT

Background and study aims The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and measures taken to mitigate its impact, have profoundly affected the clinical care of gastroenterology patients and the work of endoscopy units. We aimed to describe the clinical care delivered by gastroenterologists and the type of procedures performed during the early to peak period of the pandemic. Methods Endoscopy leaders in the New York region were invited to participate in an electronic survey describing operations and clinical service. Surveys were distributed on April 7, 2020 and responses were collected over the following week. A follow-up survey was distributed on April 20, 2020. Participants were asked to report procedure volumes and patient characteristics, as well protocols for staffing and testing for COVID-19. Results Eleven large academic endoscopy units in the New York City region responded to the survey, representing every major hospital system. COVID patients occupied an average of 54.5 % (18 - 84 %) of hospital beds at the time of survey completion, with 14.5 % (2 %-23 %) of COVID patients requiring intensive care. Endoscopy procedure volume and the number of physicians performing procedures declined by 90 % (66 %-98 %) and 84.5 % (50 %-97 %) respectively following introduction of restricted practice. During this period the most common procedures were EGDs (7.9/unit/week; 88 % for bleeding; the remainder for foreign body and feeding tube placement); ERCPs (5/unit/week; for cholangitis in 67 % and obstructive jaundice in 20 %); Colonoscopies (4/unit/week for bleeding in 77 % or colitis in 23 %) and least common were EUS (3/unit/week for tumor biopsies). Of the sites, 44 % performed pre-procedure COVID testing and the proportion of COVID-positive patients undergoing procedures was 4.6 % in the first 2 weeks and up to 19.6 % in the subsequent 2 weeks. The majority of COVID-positive patients undergoing procedures underwent EGD (30.6 % COVID +) and ERCP (10.2 % COVID +). Conclusions COVID-19 has profoundly impacted the operation of endoscopy units in the New York region. Our data show the impact of a restricted emergency practice on endoscopy volumes and the proportion of expected COVID positive cases during the peak time of the pandemic.

3.
Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 18(8): 1673-1681, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-102150

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic seemingly is peaking now in New York City and has triggered significant changes to the standard management of gastrointestinal diseases. Priorities such as minimizing viral transmission, preserving personal protective equipment, and freeing hospital beds have driven unconventional approaches to managing gastroenterology (GI) patients. Conversion of endoscopy units to COVID units and redeployment of GI fellows and faculty has profoundly changed the profile of most GI services. Meanwhile, consult and procedural volumes have been reduced drastically. In this review, we share our collective experiences regarding how we have changed our practice of medicine in response to the COVID surge. Although we review our management of specific consults and conditions, the overarching theme focuses primarily on noninvasive measures and maximizing medical therapies. Endoscopic procedures have been reserved for those timely interventions that are most likely to be therapeutic. The role of multidisciplinary discussion, although always important, now has become critical. The support of our faculty and trainees remains essential. Local leadership can encourage well-being by frequent team check-ins and by fostering trainee development through remote learning. Advancing a clear vision and a transparent process for how to organize and triage care in the recovery phase will allow for a smooth transition to our new normal.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Disease Management , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Gastroenterology/methods , Gastroenterology/organization & administration , Infection Control/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Humans , New York City/epidemiology , Pandemics
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