The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on the world. As of May 18, 2020, there
were 4,889,287 confirmed cases and 322,683 deaths globally. The healthcare system is
wrestling with a virus that threatens to overwhelm hospital capacity, while simultaneously
confronting an unprecedented reduction in elective and non-essential care[2, 3]. A survey by the
American Cancer Society showed that 50% of cancer patients and survivors reported some
impact to their healthcare due to the COVID-19 epidemic
A recent survey was conducted by Forbes et al to evaluate the changes in GI and endoscopy
practices in North America. However, the impact of this epidemic on endoscopy units
globally has not been studied.
A web-based survey was developed by leaders of the World Endoscopy Organization (WEO).
The questionnaire included 16 questions focused on the endoscopy units’ baseline volumes, the
impact on procedure numbers during the peak of the COVID 19 epidemic, the use of Personal
Protection Equipment (PPE) and if any endoscopy personnel contracted the infection. The
survey was sent out on April 23, 2020 and responses were collected through May 12, 2020. The
detailed questionnaire is provided in supporting document 1. All participants provided informed
consent for the collection, handling, and storage of data. For this survey, Institutional Review
Board exemption was provided by Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, WA.
Descriptive statistics were used to analyze responses. Continuous variables were reported as
mean ± standard deviation or median (IQR), and categorical variables were summarized as
frequency and percentage. Data were compared across continents and tertiles of pre-COVID
volume using one-way ANOVA for continuous and chi-square for categorical variables. All
statistical analyses were performed using SAS 9.4 (Cary, NC).||spa