Online conference: COVID-19 and eye care in African Eye Units: COVID-19: Changing ophthalmic practice in African eye units. Victor Hu, London, UK. 9 April 2020
On 9 April 2020, the International Centre for Eye Health (www.iceh.org.uk) and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (www.rcophth.ac.uk) hosted an online conference for over 270 eye health professionals to discuss the most recent COVID-19 guidelines and protocols and share their experience.
In this presentation, Victor Hu describes how ophthalmic practice is changing during the pandemic.
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The Community Eye Health Journal (www.cehjournal.org) also published a detailed article on 9 April, called 'How to protect yourself and your patients from COVID-19 in eye care.' Read it here: www.cehjournal.org/news/new-article-protecting-yourself-and-your-patients-from-covid-19-in-eye-care/
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• Review of notes - RAG system:
• Red: still needs to be seen
• Amber: telephone consultation
• Green: can be deferred for 6+ months
• Alerting patients to change of appointment and not to come if they have
COVID symptoms (unless urgent/emergency):
• Text messages
• Phone call
• Need to consider what services to provide in your context
• Weighing up risk to the patient of coming to an eye care unit
against loss of vision
Provide urgent / emergency service
FOR seeing the patient
• Only seeing eye
• Younger age
• Effective treatment
• Singe/few visits required
AGAINST seeing the patient
• Age 70 years or older
• Medical co-morbidity
• Defer surgery unless essential
• General Anaesthesia – aerosol generating procedure
• Local Anaesthesia – still have prolonged close contact with the
• Booking in / Reception area
1. COVID screening questions & temperature check
2. Urgent / emergency
Where and how to see patients?
• COVID-19 can cause a follicular conjunctivitis
• 9 of 1099 hospitalized patients (0.8%) with confirmed COVID had
“conjunctival conjestion” . NEJM article from China
• Viral particles can be found in tears of COVID patients, but unusual unless
they have clinical conjunctivitis (recent Ophthalmology study)
• Does not seem to be a common presentation of COVID, more a late feature.
• Overall impression:
• should not be a major cause of concern.
• follow good hygiene practice with all patients