Management of COVID-19 Pandemic in Spanish Inflammatory Bowel Disease Units: Results From a National Survey

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2020 Jun 4;izaa142. doi: 10.1093/ibd/izaa142. Online ahead of print.

Eduardo Martin Arranz 1 2, Cristina Suarez Ferrer 1, Laura García Ramírez 3, Jose Luis Rueda García 1, María Sánchez-Azofra 1, Joaquín Poza Cordón 1, Jesus Noci 1, Yamile Zabana 4 5, Manuel Barreiro-de Acosta 6, María Dolores Martín-Arranz 1 2


Author information

1Gastroenterology Department. Hospital Universitario La Paz, Madrid, Spain.

2Hospital La Paz Institute for Health Research (IdiPaz), Madrid, Spain.

3Fundación para la Investigación Biomédica, Hospital Universitario La Paz, Madrid, Spain.

4Gastroenterology Department, Hospital Universitari Mutua Terrassa, Terrassa, Barcelona, Spain.

5Centro de Investigaciones Biomédicas en Red de enfermedades hepáticas y digestivas, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain.

6Gastroenterology Unit, Hospital Universitario Clínico de Santiago, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

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Background: The outbreak of COVID-19 has rapidly evolved into a pandemic that has represented a challenge to health systems worldwide. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) units have been forced to change their practices to address the disease and to ensure the quality of care.

Methods: We conducted a national survey among IBD gastroenterologist members of the Spanish Working Group on Crohn's Disease and Colitis regarding changes of practice, IBD treatments, and diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.

Results: We received 54 answers from Spanish hospitals. One hundred percent of the IBD units rescheduled onsite visits to telematic consultation, and elective endoscopic and surgical procedures were delayed. Protective measures were also taken in the infusion units (100% of health centers) and hospital pharmacies, with 40.7% sending subcutaneous medications to patients. No switching between intravenous and subcutaneous anti-tumor necrosis factor drugs were made. We also found that 96.1% of IBD units advised their patients to maintain treatment if they were asymptomatic for COVID-19. For patients with COVID-19 symptoms, 92.6% of IBD units referred them to primary care or the emergency department. In addition, 7.5% of IBD units made a COVID-19 diagnosis through polymerase chain reaction and/or chest x-ray.Modifications in IBD treatment and treatment recommended for COVID-19 are also discussed.

Conclusions: We report a representative national survey of changes made in the structure, diagnosis of COVID-19, and modifications in IBD treatments within IBD units.

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