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5.
Eur J Ophthalmol ; 32(1): 695-703, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1136200

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: To compare the number of eye surgical procedures performed in Italy in the 2 months following the beginning of lockdown (study period) because of COVID-19 epidemic with those performed in the two earlier months of the same year (intra-year control) and in the period of 2019 corresponding to the lockdown (inter-year control). METHODS: Retrospective analysis of surgical procedures carried out at 39 Academic hospitals. A distinction was made between elective and urgent procedures. Intravitreal injections were also considered. Percentages for all surgical procedures and incidence rate ratios (IRR) for rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) events were calculated. A p value <0.05 was considered significant. RESULTS: A total of 20,886 versus 55,259 and 56,640 patients underwent surgery during the lockdown versus intra-and inter-year control periods, respectively. During the lockdown, only 70% of patients for whom an operation/intravitreal injection was recommended, finally underwent surgery; the remaining patients did not attend because afraid of getting infected at the hospital (23%), taking public transportation (6.5%), or unavailable swabs (0.5%). Elective surgeries were reduced by 96.2% and 96.4%, urgent surgeries by 49.7% and 50.2%, and intravitreal injections by 48.5% and 48.6% in the lockdown period in comparison to intra-year and inter-year control periods, respectively. IRRs for RRDs during lockdown dropped significantly in comparison with intra- and inter-year control periods (CI: 0.65-0.80 and 0.61-0.75, respectively, p < 0.001 for both). CONCLUSION: This study provides a quantitative analysis of the reduction of eye surgical procedures performed in Italy because of the COVID-19 epidemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Retinal Detachment , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol ; 259(3): 567-574, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1060218

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Following the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, the easing of strict measures to reduce its spread has led to a resurgence of cases in many countries at both the national and local level. This article addresses how guidance for ophthalmologists on managing patients with retinal disease receiving intravitreal injections of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) during the pandemic should be adapted to the local epidemic pressure, with more or less stringent measures implemented according to the ebb and flow of the pandemic. METHODS: The Vision Academy's membership of international retinal disease experts analyzed guidance for anti-VEGF intravitreal injections during the COVID-19 pandemic and graded the recommendations according to three levels of increasing epidemic pressure. The revised recommendations were discussed, refined, and voted on by the 14-member Vision Academy Steering Committee for consensus. RESULTS: Protocols to minimize the exposure of patients and healthcare staff to COVID-19, including use of personal protective equipment, physical distancing, and hygiene measures, should be routinely implemented and intensified according to local infection rates and pressure on the hospital/clinic or healthcare system. In areas with many COVID-19-positive clusters, additional measures including pre-screening of patients, postponement of non-urgent appointments, and simplification of complex intravitreal anti-VEGF regimens should be considered. Treatment prioritization for those at greatest risk of irreversible vision loss should be implemented in areas where COVID-19 cases are increasing exponentially and healthcare resources are strained. CONCLUSION: Consistency in monitoring of local infection rates and adjustment of clinical practice accordingly will be required as we move forward through the COVID-19 era. Ophthalmologists must continue to carefully weigh the risk-benefits to minimize the exposure of patients and healthcare staff to COVID-19, ensure that patients receive sight-saving treatment, and avoid the potential long-term impact of prolonged treatment postponement.


Subject(s)
Angiogenesis Inhibitors/administration & dosage , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A/antagonists & inhibitors , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Humans , Intravitreal Injections , Personal Protective Equipment , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Retinal Diseases/drug therapy
7.
J Ophthalmol ; 2020: 4827304, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-788242

ABSTRACT

The novel pandemic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has challenged the medical community. While diagnostic and therapeutic efforts have been focused on respiratory complications of the disease, several ocular implications have also emerged. SARS-CoV-2 RNA has been found in tears of the infected patients, and reports suggest that the ocular surface could serve as a portal of entry and a reservoir for viral transmission. Clinically, COVID-19 has been associated with mild conjunctivitis, which can be the first and only symptom of the disease. Subtle retinal changes like hyperreflective lesions in the inner layers on optical coherence tomography (OCT), cotton-wool spots, and microhemorrhages have also been reported. In addition, COVID-19 has been associated with an increased incidence of systemic diseases like diabetes mellitus and Kawasaki disease, which are particularly relevant for ophthalmologists due to their potentially severe ocular manifestations. Several treatment strategies are currently under investigation for COVID-19, but none of them have been proved to be safe and effective to date. Intensive care unit patients, due to risk factors like invasive mechanical ventilation, prone position, and multiresistant bacterial exposure, may develop ocular complications like ocular surface disorders, secondary infections, and less frequently acute ischemic optic neuropathy and intraocular pressure elevation. Among the array of drugs that have shown positive results, the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine has raised a concern due to their well-known retinal toxic effects. However, the risk of retinal toxicity with short-term high-dose use of antimalarials is still unknown. Ocular side effects have also been reported with other investigational drugs like lopinavir-ritonavir, interferons, and interleukin-1 and interleukin-6 inhibitors. The aim of this review was to summarize ophthalmological implications of SARS-CoV-2 infection to serve as a reference for eye care and other physicians for prompt diagnosis and management.

8.
Eur J Ophthalmol ; 30(4): 621-628, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-291469

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is infecting people and spreading easily from person-to-person. Cases have been detected in most countries worldwide. Italy is one of the most affected countries as of 30 March 2020. Public health response includes a rapid reorganization of the Italian National Healthcare System in order to reduce transmission of COVID-19 within hospitals and healthcare facilities, while optimizing the assistance to patients with severe COVID-19 complications. METHODS: We analysed the actions that were taken in three ophthalmology centres in northern Italy during the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak and how these measures affected patient's attendance. In addition, due to the rapidly evolving scenario, we reviewed the evidence available during the course of this pandemic. RESULTS: A full reorganization of ophthalmology services is mandatory according to current existing infection containment measures in order to continue dispensing urgent procedures without endangering the community with amplification of the diffusion chain. Ophthalmologists are considered at elevated risk of exposure when caring patients and vice versa, due to their close proximity during eye examination. High volumes of procedures typically generated by ophthalmologists with concurrent implications on the risk of infection are considered when re-assessing healthcare facilities reorganization. CONCLUSION: Containment measures in the event of pandemic due to infective agents should be well known by healthcare professionals and promptly applied in order to mitigate the risk of nosocomial transmission and outbreak.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Ophthalmology/organization & administration , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Cross Infection/transmission , Eye Diseases/diagnosis , Eye Diseases/therapy , Humans , Infection Control/organization & administration , Italy/epidemiology , Ophthalmology/standards , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2 , Triage/organization & administration
9.
Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol ; 258(6): 1149-1156, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-121183

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: There is an urgent need to address how to best provide ophthalmic care for patients with retinal disease receiving intravitreal injections with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agents during the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic. This article provides guidance for ophthalmologists on how to deliver the best possible care for patients while minimizing the risk of infection. METHODS: The Vision Academy's Steering Committee of international retinal disease experts convened to discuss key considerations for managing patients with retinal disease during the COVID-19 pandemic. After reviewing the existing literature on the issue, members put forward recommendations that were systematically refined and voted on to develop this guidance. RESULTS: The considerations focus on the implementation of steps to minimize the exposure of patients and healthcare staff to COVID-19. These include the use of personal protective equipment, adherence to scrupulous hygiene and disinfection protocols, pre-screening to identify symptomatic patients, and reducing the number of people in waiting rooms. Other important measures include triaging of patients to identify those at the greatest risk of irreversible vision loss and prioritization of treatment visits over monitoring visits where possible. In order to limit patient exposure, ophthalmologists should refrain from using treatment regimens that require frequent monitoring. CONCLUSION: Management of patients with retinal disease receiving intravitreal injections during the COVID-19 pandemic will require adjustment to regular clinical practice to minimize the risk of exposure of patients and healthcare staff, and to prioritize those with the greatest medical need. The safety of patients and healthcare staff should be of paramount importance in all decision-making.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Intravitreal Injections , Ophthalmology/organization & administration , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Retinal Diseases/drug therapy , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A/antagonists & inhibitors , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Disinfection , Humans , Personal Protective Equipment , SARS-CoV-2
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