Cleveland Clinic Foundation Cleveland, OH, United States
Elizabeth Hilow, MD, MA, Paul C. Bryson, MD, MBA, Charles Foster, MD, Dorothea Markakis, MD, Marsha Kay, MD, FACG Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH
Introduction: Our hospital implemented universal pre-operative COVID-19 screening in April 2020 to reduce risk of transmission to caregivers as well to avert a potential anesthetic risk in COVID positive patients. The aim of this project was to determine the prevalence of asymptomatic COVID-19 infection among pediatric patients undergoing ambulatory procedures and surgeries, overall and for Pediatric Gastroenterology (GI) cases specifically.
Methods: A retrospective chart review identified pediatric patients (≤21 years) who underwent ambulatory pre-operative COVID-19 testing between April 1, 2020-March 31, 2021. Demographic and health-related data was collected to identify asymptomatic COVID-19 positive patients scheduled for GI procedures and other ambulatory surgeries. We compared the proportion of patients who tested positive by age group, co-morbid condition, and surgical specialty. We also compared pediatric case rates to Ohio case rates. The study was IRB approved.
Results: 4,663 asymptomatic pediatric patients underwent pre-operative COVID-19 testing by PCR and 81 patients were identified as positive (1.73%). In COVID-19 positive patients, 56% were male and 44% were female. Mean age was 12 years and patients 13-18 years were the age group with the highest fraction of positive tests (35%). 11% of patients screened were undergoing a GI-related procedure with a positivity rate of 1.3%. The peak in asymptomatic positives across all procedures occurred in November 2020 (30%), which preceded the peak in COVID-19 cases in Ohio by several weeks. Most prevalent co-morbid condition was asthma (15%) and 8% had inflammatory bowel disease. 5 patients were undergoing chemotherapy and none were on biologic therapy. 94% of cases were deferred. 25% of cases that proceeded required post-operative admission.
Discussion: Asymptomatic COVID-19 positive patients were identified before 1.73% of pediatric ambulatory procedures and before 1.3% of GI procedures. These case rates were higher than the concurrent adult case rate at our institution. The higher rate of asymptomatic COVID-19 infection in pre-operative pediatric ambulatory patients may reflect the milder disease in this age group. The peak in pediatric asymptomatic case positivity seemed to predict the subsequent peak case rate in the state of Ohio by a few weeks. As the pandemic continues with a large percentage of pediatric patients unvaccinated, pre-operative COVID-19 testing has important implications for pediatric GI and other ambulatory procedures.
Disclosures: Elizabeth Hilow indicated no relevant financial relationships. Paul Bryson indicated no relevant financial relationships. Charles Foster indicated no relevant financial relationships. Dorothea Markakis indicated no relevant financial relationships. Marsha Kay indicated no relevant financial relationships.
Elizabeth Hilow, MD, MA, Paul C. Bryson, MD, MBA, Charles Foster, MD, Dorothea Markakis, MD, Marsha Kay, MD, FACG. P0876 - Asymptomatic Pediatric COVID-19 Positive Patients Captured Through Pre-operative Screening Program for Ambulatory Surgeries at a Tertiary Care Hospital, ACG 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting Abstracts. Las Vegas, Nevada: American College of Gastroenterology.