Personal Protective Equipment for Endoscopy in Low-Resource Settings During the COVID-19 Pandemic
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Performance of endoscopic procedures is associated with a risk of infection from COVID-19. This risk can be reduced by the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). However, shortage of PPE has emerged as an important issue in managing the pandemic in both traditionally high and low-resource areas. A group of clinicians and researchers from thirteen countries representing low, middle, and high-income areas has developed recommendations for optimal utilization of PPE before, during, and after gastrointestinal endoscopy with particular reference to low-resource situations. We determined that there is limited flexibility with regard to the utilization of PPE between ideal and low-resource settings. Some compromises are possible, especially with regard to PPE use, during endoscopic procedures. We have, therefore, also stressed the need to prevent transmission of COVID-19 by measures other than PPE and to conserve PPE by reduction of patient volume, limiting procedures to urgent or emergent, and reducing the number of staff and trainees involved in procedures. This guidance aims to optimize utilization of PPE and protection of health care providers.
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