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Gut ; 70(Suppl 4):A197, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1503988


IntroductionEndoscopy other than essential or emergency cases was paused in March 2020 during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic leading to a significant backlog. In April 2020 the BSG issued new guidance for safe resumption of endoscopy services.MethodsWe here described how we managed the endoscopy backlog generated by the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in a Covid-minimised unit. We evaluated the impact of service suspension on backlog, recovery strategy, infection control policy, results of pre-procedure Covid-19 testing, and 7/14-day post-procedure Covid-19 symptom screening.Results937 elective procedures were cancelled between 23 March and June 2020. A vetting tool linked to the booking system was used to categorise these as High-risk 2-week wait (n=57), Defer 3 months (n=439), Defer 6 months (n=300), Defer 12 months (n=9), Surveillance (n=45), Discharge back to referrer (n=87). Elective procedures restarted on 8 June 2020. Lists were initially booked with 50% reduction in volume compared to pre-Covid-19, to accommodate PPE, downtime and social distancing. We increased endoscopy administration from 2 to 5 staff, to implement 7-day pre-procedure ‘’SCOTS criteria’ telephone screening, 3-day pre-procedure Covid-19 PCR testing, and 7/14-day post-procedure telephone follow-up. We introduced outpatient information leaflet and consent forms regarding Covid-19 risk. Inpatient endoscopy was carried out in the operating theatre until the end of August. On 17 July we removed downtime after lower GI endoscopy increasing capacity. Twice weekly evening lists resumed in August, with an extra evening list added in September. From 1 August until 10 October we used insourcing at weekend. We trialed outsourcing of 2 weekly lists for 4 weeks in August, but did not find this strategy effective. Additional Saturday and evening lists were performed by 6 endoscopists removed from the GIM rota. We were able to clear our waiting list by mid-October so that we could offer mutual aid to a neighboring hospital.Between June and November we performed endoscopy in 3,481 outpatients. Each patient had pre-endoscopy Covid-19 swab and 20 (0.57%) were positive. 23 out of 3,261 (0.71%) patients developed Covid-19 symptoms after 7 days and 29 (0.89%) after 14 days.ConclusionsWe demonstrated effective clearance of the endoscopy backlog in a Covid-19 safe environment over 4 months. Key interventions were advance vetting, increased administrative support, an endoscopy unit located in a separate building, quick implementation of infection control policies, insourcing and freeing of endoscopists from the GIM rota. Learning point was underestimating burnout of endoscopy nursing staff.

Sci Rep ; 10(1): 20836, 2020 11 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1059918


Impaired immune responses have been hypothesised to be a possible trigger of unfavourable outcomes in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We aimed to characterise IgM memory B cells in patients with COVID-19 admitted to an internal medicine ward in Northern Italy. Overall, 66 COVID-19 patients (mean age 74 ± 16.6 years; 29 females) were enrolled. Three patients (4.5%; 1 female) had been splenectomised and were excluded from further analyses. Fifty-five patients (87.3%) had IgM memory B cell depletion, and 18 (28.6%) died during hospitalisation (cumulative incidence rate 9.26/100 person-week; 5.8-14.7 95% CI). All patients who died had IgM memory B cell depletion. A superimposed infection was found in 6 patients (9.5%), all of them having IgM memory B cell depletion (cumulative incidence rate 3.08/100 person-week; 1.3-6.8 95% CI). At bivariable analyses, older age, sex, number of comorbidities, and peripheral blood lymphocyte count < 1500/µl were not correlated with IgM memory B cell depletion. A discrete-to-marked reduction of the B-cell compartment was also noticed in autoptic spleen specimens of two COVID-19 patients. We conclude that IgM memory B cells are commonly depleted in COVID-19 patients and this correlates with increased mortality and superimposed infections.

B-Lymphocytes/cytology , COVID-19/mortality , Hospital Mortality , Immunologic Memory/immunology , Lymphocyte Depletion , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , B-Lymphocyte Subsets/cytology , B-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Longitudinal Studies , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spleen/cytology , Spleen/immunology