Published on Wed Sep 22 2021

Health-care workers in gastrointestinal endoscopy are at higher risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to other aerosol-generating disciplines

Roemmele, C., Ebigbo, A., Kahn, M., Zellmer, S., Muzalyova, A., Hammel, G., Bartenschlager, C., Beyer, A., Rosendahl, J., Schlittenbauer, T., Zenk, J., Al-Nawas, B., Frankenberger, R., Hoffmann, J., Arens, C., Lammert, F., Traidl-Hoffmann, C., Messmann, H.

Healthcare workers are at high risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection due to exposure to potentially infectious material, especially during aerosol-generating procedures (AGP) A nationwide questionnaire-based study in in- and outpatient settings was conducted between 12/16/2020 and 01/24/2021.

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Abstract

Objective: Healthcare workers (HCW) are at high risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection due to exposure to potentially infectious material, especially during aerosol-generating procedures (AGP). We aimed to investigate the prevalence of infection among HCW in medical disciplines with AGP. Design: A nationwide questionnaire-based study in in- and outpatient settings was conducted between 12/16/2020 and 01/24/2021. Data on SARS-CoV-2 infections among HCW and potential risk factors were investigated. Results: 2,070 healthcare facilities with 25,113 employees were included in the study. Despite a higher rate of pre-interventional testing, clinics treated three times more confirmed SARS-CoV-2 cases than private practices (28.8% vs. 88.4%, p<0.001). Overall infection rate among HCW accounted for 4.7%. Multivariate analysis revealed that ZIP-regions having comparably higher incidences were significantly associated with increased risk of infection. Furthermore, clinical setting and the GIE specialty have more than double the risk of infection (OR 2.63; 95% CI 2.501-2.817, p<0.01 and OR 2.35; 95% CI 2.245-2.498, p<0.01). The number of procedures performed per day was also significantly associated with an increased risk of infection (OR 1.01; 95% CI 1.007-1.014), p<0.01). No treatment of confirmed SARS-CoV-2 cases was tending to lower the risk of infection (OR 0.72; 95% CI 0.507-1.025, p=0.068). Conclusion: HCW in GIE seem to be at higher risk of infection than those in other AGP, especially in the clinical setting. Regions having comparably higher incidences as well as the number of procedures performed per day were also significantly associated with increased risk of infection.