Background: As endoscopists are at risk to get infected by the novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 during endoscopic procedures, the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) published recommendations regarding protection for the paediatric endoscopist and endoscopy suite staff.
The aim of this survey was to investigate whether European paediatric gastroenterology centres applied the recommendations and how this extraordinary situation was handled by the different centres.
Results: Twelve Paediatric European gastroenterology centers (from Belgium, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, and United Kingdom) participated. Nine centres (75%) screened their patients for a possible COVID-19 infection before the procedure, the same amount of hospitals changed their practice based on the ESPGHAN recommendations. 67% of the centres reduced the staff in the endoscopy suite, 83% of the units used FFP2/3 masks and protective goggles during the procedure and 75% wore waterproof gowns.
Conclusion: The global situation caused by COVID-19 changed so rapidly, and hospitals had to react immediately to protect staff and patients and could not wait for guidelines to be published. Furthermore, uniform guidelines could not be applied by all European hospitals at a certain time point of the viral spread, as different regions of Europe were not only affected differently by COVID-19, but also had different access to personal protective equipment.