On March 15, 2020 a joint message was issued by the four professional GI societies (AASLD, ACG, AGA, and ASGE) regarding elective, non-urgent, endoscopic procedures. Highlights of the guidance are below. Patients are encouraged to proactively discuss any endoscopic procedures scheduled with their provider to determine the best course of action.
- Patients and providers should strongly consider rescheduling elective non-urgent endoscopic procedures.
- There are procedures that are higher priority and may need to be performed (examples include cancer evaluations, prosthetic removals, evaluation of significant symptoms).
- All patients should be pre-screened for high risk exposure or symptoms. This screening should include history of fever or respiratory symptoms, family members or close contacts with similar symptoms, any contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, and recent travel to a high-risk area.
- Patients on immunosuppressive drugs for IBD should continue taking their medications. The risk of a disease flare outweighs the chance of contracting coronavirus. These patients should also follow CDC guidelines for at-risk groups by avoiding crowds and limiting travel.