Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the gastrointestinal endoscopic activity in France
Background and study aims: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has strongly affected medical activity around the world. We sought to measure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the gastrointestinal endoscopic activity in France. Methods: We performed a web-based survey, including 35 questions on the responders and their endoscopic practice, from March 23rd to March 27th 2020, sent to the 3300 French gastroenterologists practicing endoscopy. Results: 694 (21%) gastrointestinal endoscopists provided analyzable data. 29.4% (204/694) were involved in the management of COVID-19 patients outside the endoscopy departments, and 98.7% (685/694) of the endoscopic procedures were canceled. 12.8% (89/694) of the gastroenterologists reported symptoms compatible with COVID-19 infection, and a positive PCR was recorded in 12/197 (6.1%) vs. 3/497 (0.6%) patients in the high vs. low prevalence areas, p<0.0001. Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic led to a major reduction in the volume of gastrointestinal endoscopies performed in France in March 2020. The prolonged limited access to gastrointestinal endoscopy could lead to a delay in the management of patients with gastrointestinal cancers.
Received: 28 April 2020
Accepted after revision: 17 June 2020
17 June 2020 (online)
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