COVID-19: Infusion Clinics, Pregnancy and Newborns

March 26, 2020

Get the latest recommendations from experts including clinic visits, medications and treatment, mental health, infusion clinics, pregnancy and birth, infants and children, and more.

  • 0:00-3:06: Welcome from Crohn’s and Colitis Canada

    • Crohn’s and Colitis Canada’s promise and mission
    • How to get information on IBD and COVID-19
    • Thank you to COVID-19 task force 
    • Introduction moderators 

    3:07-7:12: Agenda for March 26 Webinar

    • Welcome and reminder will be having a weekly webinar
    • 2nd webinar and would encourage you to check 1st webinar
    • Reviewing agenda for evening’s webinar

    7:19-11:43: Understanding COVID-19 and IBD

    • Dr. Gil Kaplan gives updates about COVID-19 around the world and in Canada
    • Terminology review

    11:43-13:57: Breakdown of the cases and numbers

    • Looking at the risk to people by age group
    • Impact of COVID-19 age groups and how many need to be hospitalized, ICU and case fatality
    13:57-20:21: Why it is so important to flatten the curve
    • Demonstrating how health care is preparing and how flattening the curve helps 
    • Models showing how different levels of physical distancing and staying home if you can, can significantly impact the spread 
    • Be the stationary dot!

    20:02-24:23: Updates to recommendations for IBD patients

    • Dr. Benchimol defines commonly used words and phrases like self-isolate, physical distancing, and more

    24:24-31:11: Risk Factors for IBD Patients

    • Breakdown level of risk to patients from lowest to highest and recommendations to follow 
    • Highlight that this may be different for healthcare workers

    31:12-34:54: Review of recommendations for medication use

    • Stay on IBD medications
    • NSAIDs and steroids
    • Reminder information about COVID-19 is always changing

    35:00-42:27: Psychological Impact of Physical Distancing: Recommendations

    • Challenging time, remember what you are doing is part of the solution
    • Importance to develop psychological closeness -connect!
    • Build in structure and routine in these days

    42:27-45:00: Physical distancing, kids and screen time

    • Screen time is important for connecting with friends
    • Activities off the screens
    • Be creative about how to connect 

    45:00-48:03: Introduction to COVID-19 and Infusion Clinics

    • Lots of questions from community about infusion clinics
    • Introducing panelists from infusion clinic community

    48:03-52:03: Infusion clinics pre-COVID-19 and now

    • What are infusion clinics
    • How are they working together during this time?

    52:03-54:53: How are the different clinics connected now?

    • Ensuring that patients can be seen
    • Still have appointment either at usual clinic or neighbouring clinic

    54:53-57:55: What about Patient Support Programs?

    • There has been increased volume of people contacting but still able to connect
    • Will help find answers for patients
    • Helping with screening and rescheduling infusions
    • Helping patients inject at home if using injectable medication

    57:55-59:43: Screening for COVID-19 at Infusion Clinics

    • Following recommendations of public health
    • Connecting with patients before appointments, even after if experiencing symptoms contact

    59:43-1:03:17: What about cleaning during COVID-19 at infusion clinics

    • Increased above standard practices
    • Increased handwashing including people at clinic
    • Implementing physical distancing, adding barriers
    • As required personal protective equipment

    1:03:18-1:08:58: Physical distancing in small clinics?

    • Flexing hours to accommodate to allow for physical distancing
    • Vinyl screens to create distance that are cleaned between patients
    • Adjustment to visitors 

    1:09:25-1:14:45: Introduction Pregnancy with IBD, Newborns and COVID-19

    • Impact of COVID-10 on pregnant IBD patients
    • General recommendations from experts

    1:14:46-1:16:34: What about IBD medications when pregnant and COVID-19?

    • Advice remains the same stay on medications
    • If you have a positive COVID-19 test talk to your health care providers

    1:16:35-1:19:40: Can pregnant patients pass COVID-19 onto baby?

    • What is known to date
    • What about breastfeeding

    1:19:40-1:23:51: What about delivering baby?

    • Typical recommendations for IBD patients and giving birth
    • Guidance of obstetrician
    • Clinic visits-many are going to telemedicine but if asked to go in please go in

    1:23:51-1:25:54: Are newborns at higher risk?

    • Very little data at this time 

    1:25:55-1:27:46: What can pregnant patients do to protect themselves from COVID-19

    • Physical distancing
    • Handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes
    • No need to avoid breastfeeding
    • Keep yourself healthy both physical and mental health

    1:27:46-1:29:23: What can parents do to protect newborn?

    • Physical distancing
    • Disinfect high touch surfaces
    • Awareness of symptoms

    1:29:24-1:32:25: What about babies born to mothers using biologics?

    • Do not have the data yet but there are studies happening
    • Same practices keep baby at home even when many want to meet baby
    • Collaborative work across Canada looking at babies with biologics in their systems 

    1:32:26-1:36:26: Coping for new parents while physically distancing

    • New baby is an exciting and anxious time even without a pandemic
    • Connect anyway you can virtually
    • Stay informed so you can talk back to worries 
    • Stay in the now 

    1:36:26-1:41:46: Concluding remarks and thank you

    • Thank you to expert panelists, healthcare workers
    • Thank you to moderators, Dr. Kaplan and Dr. Benchimol, Scientific Medical Advisory Council, COVID-19 task force 
    • How to stay informed and connected with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada 
  • Moderators:

    Dr. Eric Benchimol (MD, PhD, FRCPC), Associate Professor and Gastroenterologist, Department of Pediatrics and School of Epidemology and Public Health at the University of Ottawa, Division of Gastroenterology​ at Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)

    Dr. Gilaad Kaplan (MD, MPH, FRCPC), Associate Professor and Gastroenterologist, Director of the Environmental Health Research Group, Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases and Institute of Public Health, Departments of Medicine and Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary Twitter: @gilkaplan 

    Panel Members:

    Dr. Cynthia Seow (MBBS, MSc, FRACP), Pregnancy and IBD Specialist, Associate Professor, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Departments of Medicine and Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary

    Dr. Anne Pham-Huy (MD, FRCPC), Pregnancy, Fetus and Infant Specialist in IBD,
    Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa

    Dr. Lesley Graff (PhD, Cpsych), Clinical Health Psychologist, Department Head, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba

    Jeff Hopkins (MSN, RN), Director Clinics & Nursing Business Operations at Innomar Strategies

    Amar Pabla, Vice President of Nursing, Clinics, and Scheduling Operations, Innomar Strategies  

    Norine Primeau-Menzies, Vice President INVIVA and Provider Solutions, McKesson Canada

    Zoe Vernham (RN, BScN), National Director Nursing Services BSRx, Regional Director Business Development QC, Bayshore HealthCare

    Julia Casey (RN), Manager of Education, Bioscript Solutions, Coverdale Infusion Clinics

    David Ford (RPh), Co-Founder, Bioscript Solutions


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  • Canada has among the highest incidence rates of Crohn's and colitis in the world.
  • 1 in 140 Canadians lives with Crohn’s or colitis.
  • Families new to Canada are developing these diseases for the first time.
  • Incidence of Crohn’s in Canadian kids under 10 has doubled since 1995.
  • People are most commonly diagnosed before age 30.

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