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World J Gastroenterol ; 26(22): 2987-2999, 2020 Jun 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-617243


Severe pulmonary disease caused by the novel coronavirus [severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)], has devastated many countries around the world. It has overwhelmed the medical system. The priorities of many institutions have changed to manage critically ill corona virus infectious disease-2019 (COVID-19) patients, which affected the working style of many departments. Hepatologists and transplant surgeons look after a very sensitive patient group. Patients with liver disease need special attention and continuous follow-up. Similarly, transplant candidates also need special care. Healthcare professionals in the field of hepatology face the overwhelming task of taking care of COVID-19 patients with hepatic complications, liver disease or transplant patients who are SARS-CoV-2 positive, and the patients on routine surveillance who do not have COVID-19. This review will evaluate COVID-19 from the perspective of its effect on the liver and its possible effects on patients with liver disease. Furthermore, the level of care for liver transplant recipients during the pandemic will be discussed.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Gastroenterology/methods , Liver Diseases/virology , Liver Transplantation , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology
Neurogastroenterol Motil ; 32(7): e13926, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-457062


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic, declared by WHO on March 13, 2020, had a major global impact on the healthcare system and services. In the acute phase, the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the aerodigestive tract limited activities in the gastroenterology clinic and procedures to emergencies only. Motility and function testing was interrupted and as we enter the recovery phase, restarting these procedures requires a safety-focused approach with adequate infection prevention for patients and healthcare professionals. METHODS: We summarized knowledge on the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the aerodigestive tract and the risk of spread with motility and functional testing. We surveyed 39 European centers documenting how the pandemic affected activities and which measures they are considering for restarting these measurements. We propose recommendations based on current knowledge as applied in our center. RESULTS: Positioning of catheters for gastrointestinal motility tests carries a concern for aerosol-borne infection of healthcare workers. The risk is low with breath tests. The surveyed centers stopped almost all motility and function tests from the second half of March. The speed of restarting and the safety measures taken varied highly. CONCLUSIONS AND INFERENCES: Based on these findings, we provided recommendations and practical relevant information for motility and function test procedures in the COVID-19 pandemic era, to guarantee a high-quality patient care with adequate infection prevention.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Gastroenterology/methods , Gastrointestinal Motility/physiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Recovery of Function/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Europe/epidemiology , Gastroenterology/standards , Health Personnel/standards , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patient Care/methods , Patient Care/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Practice Guidelines as Topic/standards , Protective Clothing/standards , Surveys and Questionnaires
Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 18(8): 1673-1681, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-102150


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.

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