Published online Apr 16, 2021. doi: 10.4253/wjge.v13.i4.111
Peer-review started: December 24, 2020
First decision: January 25, 2021
Revised: February 6, 2021
Accepted: March 12, 2021
Article in press: March 12, 2021
Published online: April 16, 2021
Endoscopists are at high risk of allowing transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during gastrointestinal endoscopy (GIE) procedures under pandemic conditions. The main avenues of droplet-containing aerosol generated during GIE are the mouth, anus, and endoscopic forceps channel. Although the usefulness of personal protective equipment for preventing COVID-19 dissemination has been well reported, measures to address infected aerosol escaping during endoscopic forceps use have been neglected. Pathogen-contaminated aerosol from the endoscopic forceps channel, leading into the gastrointestinal lumen, has been confirmed and is a highly problematic source of infection. We developed a technique that entails covering the forceps entry/exit hole with a vinyl bag, thereby preventing contamination of the endoscopy room by the infected aerosol that escapes from this hole. The technique can be used in daily clinical endoscopic practice. Furthermore, this shielding technique is useful for all patients who undergo GIE, regardless of the purpose of the procedure such as for making a diagnosis, administering therapy, or in an urgent situation. In this letter, we introduce our novel, easily performed, inexpensive method of infection prevention by disallowing infected aerosol to escape from a COVID-19-infected patient into the air during a procedure that requires the use of endoscopic forceps.
Core Tip: The world is experiencing a viral pandemic. The main avenues of droplet-containing aerosol generated during gastrointestinal endoscopy are the mouth, anus, and endoscopic forceps channel. Although the usefulness of personal protective equipment for preventing coronavirus disease 2019 dissemination has been well reported, measures to address infected aerosol escaping via endoscopic forceps use have been neglected. We developed a technique using a vinyl bag to cover the hole through which forceps enter the gastrointestinal lumen. It prevents endoscopy room contamination by disallowing infected aerosol to escape via the forceps entrance. It thus protects the endoscopy room and staff during endoscopy.