COVID-19 - Advice to patients with inflammatory bowel disease
Patients on immunosuppression are not at increased risk of catching Coronavirus. However, if they do, they may be at extra risk of complications.
Immunosuppression therapy should be stopped immediately if flu like symptoms start - persistent cough or fever. Key points for patients:
- Carry out stringent social distancing+ if taking an immunosuppression medication eg azathioprine, infliximab or adalumimab OR stable on dual (two) therapy.
- Carry out shielding++ if on immunosuppression plus over the age of 70, have moderate severe bowel inflammation and any other disease such as heart or lung disease.
- Mild inflammatory bowel disease patients should carry out social distancing.
- Follow good hand hygiene and avoid touching your face.
- Continue therapy (IMMUNOSUPRRESSION / DMARD) unless advised not to take it. This should not be discontinued if patients do not have any symptoms of infection.
- If you have any flu-like symptoms – cough / temperature – self isolate and stop medication but advise the gastroenterology team if you stop your medication or have been advised to stop your medication by the gp or the emergency department.
- Please ensure that your vaccinations with influenza and pneumococcal are up to date in conjunction with your GP.
+ Stringent social distancing - avoid gatherings with people who you do not live with. Avoid people with coughs, colds and fevers.
++ Shielding - not going outside. Avoid all social contact face to face. No visitors. Family members you live with should carry out stringent social isolation.
For further information please see the BSG website.
Gastroenterology is the field of medicine covering diseases of the digestive system. Gastroenterologists diagnose, treat and manage conditions of the oesophagus, stomach, intestines, liver, pancreas and gallbladder.
Gastroenterology specialists see patients most often for gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GeRD), GI cancer, pancreatic cancer, hepatitis, cirrhosis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colitis, Crohn’s disease and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Symptoms of diseases that are caused by digestive problems include constipation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, heartburn, indigestion, rectal bleeding, weight loss and abdominal pain.
Outpatient clinical services are offered at Noble’s Hospital and Ramsey District Cottage Hospital.
The Endoscopy unit at Noble’s hospital is home to high quality facilities that include three procedure rooms, single sex recovery bays, decontamination facilities and a dedicated patient reception and waiting area. It offers services for gastrointestinal, urological and respiratory investigations with endoscopes (flexible cameras inserted into the body).
Procedures available at the suite include:
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy
- Capsule endoscopy – small bowel investigation
- Cystoscopy ( The Urology service)
- TRUS biopsy ( The Urology service)
- Bronchoscopy (The Respiratory service)
- Bravo capsule – to measure gastrointestinal acid reflux
- Haemorrhoid banding
- Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy insertion (PEG)
- Polypectomy and endoscopic mucosal resection
- Oesophageal and colonic dilation