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Ophthalmology practice during the COVID-19 pandemic
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  • Published on:
    Reponse: Ophthalmology practice during the COVID-19 pandemic
    • Shahzad Shafquat, Consultant Ophthalmologist Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust
    • Other Contributors:
      • Trystan Macdonald, Ophthalmology Specialty Trainee Year 3
      • Syed Wajid, Specialty Doctor in Ophthalmology
      • Usman Saeed, Consultant Ophthalmologist

    Thank-you to the authors for sharing their departmental protocol based current international research and recommendations [1]. We have put in place many of the precautions outlined however wished to share our recent experience with regard to intravitreal injections (IVI), and additional measures put in place as a result.

    IVIs have continued in our service for sight threatening pathology throughout the UK government lockdown of the past 8 weeks. Patients have self-isolated for 7 days prior to their procedure and are screened for symptoms of COVID19 or contacts before attendance. Arriving at our facility they wash their hands, don a surgical mask and have their temperature, oxygen saturations and blood pressure checked. Social distancing is maintained in waiting areas by blocking alternate seats as mentioned.

    For the procedure itself the patient is draped and injectors wear sterile gloves, a theatre gown and a fluid resistant surgical mask as per national guidance [2].

    There was no protocol to routinely test patients attending for IVI at our units for coronavirus, however tests were performed on four consecutive injection lists on 4th and 5th May. 48 patients were tested with a mean age of 76 years (range 54-92). 2 (4%) tested positive despite being asymptomatic. They were asked not to attend and will be rescheduled. 4 (13%) decided not to attend voluntarily.

    As mentioned by the authors retinal services tend to serve an elderly population with a...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.