Devices such as flexible endoscopes can be used for treatment and management of COVID-19 patients. Although endoscopies remain safe and provide clinicians with a significant diagnostic and therapeutic utility, they may present a potential risk of infection. To prevent such infections, products and processes have been made available to protect patient safety. Professor Didier Lepelletier, Paul Caesar and Dr. Daniel Vinteler provide an insight.
Professor Lepelletier, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nantes, points out that healthcare professionals are at increased risk of infection by COVID-19 from inhalation of airborne droplets, conjunctival contact, and faeces contamination. The virus has been found to live in patient stool and angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACE2), the receptor used by the virus to enter human cells, is widely expressed in the intestinal tract. Healthcare workers may transmit the infection to their patients as hospital-based epidemics have been