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Dig Dis ; 39(5): 540-548, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-729441


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19-pandemic poses challenges to the medical system and especially to endoscopic staff and patients. National, European and International societies provided recommendations on how to safely perform endoscopic procedures during the current pandemic. Until now, the effect of the current pandemic on tertiary endoscopy centers has not been reported. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this was to analyze the influence of the early SARS-CoV2-pandemic on endoscopic care and work flow in 2 European tertiary endoscopy units. METHODS: Data from 2 tertiary endoscopy units (Katowice and Munich) were retrospectively collected during the early pandemic and compared to an equivalent pre-pandemic period. Data include procedures, complications, benchmarks, and influence on endoscopy training. RESULTS: During the early pandemic, we noted a highly significant decrease (49.1%) in the overall number of all endoscopies with a significant increase in therapeutic procedures. Besides, there were no significant differences in the number of urgent endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography or interventional endoscopic ultrasound procedures. The exceptional situation reduced endoscopic procedures performed by trainees significantly. CONCLUSIONS: The SARS-CoV2-pandemic halved the endoscopy service of 2 tertiary centers while maintaining an urgent therapeutic service. Recommended personal safety measures in endoscopy proved to be efficient and safe in preventing SARS-CoV2 infection of staff or spreading. Unnecessarily, the SARS-CoV2 pandemic prevented routine endoscopy training.

COVID-19 , Infection Control , Pandemics , Adult , Aged , Endoscopy , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , RNA, Viral , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2