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J Epidemiol Community Health ; 76(4): 341-349, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2313785


BACKGROUND: Melbourne, Australia, successfully halted exponential transmission of COVID-19 via two strict lockdowns during 2020. The impact of such restrictions on healthcare-seeking behaviour is not comprehensively understood, but is of global importance. We explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on acute, subacute and emergency department (ED) presentations/admissions within a tertiary, metropolitan health service in Melbourne, Australia, over two waves of community transmission (1 March to 20 September 2020). METHODS: We used 4 years of historical data and novel forecasting methods to predict counterfactual hospital activity for 2020, assuming absence of COVID-19. Observed activity was compared with forecasts overall, by age, triage category and for myocardial infarction and stroke. Data were analysed for all patients residing in the health service catchment area presenting between 4 January 2016 and 20 September 2020. RESULTS: ED presentations (n=401 805), acute admissions (n=371 723) and subacute admissions (n=15 676) were analysed. Substantial departures from forecasted presentation levels were observed during both waves in the ED and acute settings, and during the second wave in subacute. Reductions were most marked among those aged >80 and <18 years. Presentations persisted at expected levels for urgent conditions, and ED triage categories 1 and 5, with clear reductions in categories 2-4. CONCLUSIONS: Our analyses suggest citizens were willing and able to present with life-threatening conditions during Melbourne's lockdowns, and that switching to telemedicine did not cause widespread spill-over from primary care into ED. During a pandemic, lockdowns may not inhibit appropriate hospital attendance where rates of infectious disease are low.

COVID-19 , Adolescent , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Emergency Service, Hospital , Hospitals , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors
Journal of Pediatric Infectious Diseases ; 18(1):42644.0, 2023.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2245762
Br J Ophthalmol ; 106(12): 1762-1766, 2022 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2137573


PURPOSE: To assess the safety of intravitreally applied epidermal growth factor (EGF). METHODS: The clinical interventional, prospective, single-centre, case series study included patients with age-related macular degeneration-related geographic atrophy (GA), in whom the eye with the worse best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) underwent a single, or repeated, intravitreal injection of EGF (0.75 µg in 50 µL). At baseline and afterwards, the eyes underwent ophthalmological examinations. RESULTS: The study included seven patients (mean age:70.0±12.2 years (range: 54-86 years), with five patients receiving a single injection and two patients receiving two intravitreal injections in an interval of 4 weeks. Mean duration of follow-up was 97±97 days (median:35 days; range: 7-240 days). Mean BCVA was lower at baseline than at study end (1.41±0.44 logMAR vs 0.97±0.12 logMAR; p=0.03). Mean size of the GA lesions did not differ significantly between baseline and study end (29 212±22 887 pixels vs 29 300±22 905 pixels; p=0.59) nor did the mean perimetric mean defect (-10.3±5.9 dB vs 12.0±8.8 dB; p=0.35) or the electroretinographical b-wave amplitude (44.53±31.7 µV vs 64.5±25.5 µV; p=0.12). After a second injection 4 weeks after the first injection, one of two patients developed a cystoid macular oedema in association with an induced incomplete posterior vitreous detachment. It persisted for 3 weeks. Visual acuity in this eye improved from 1.0 logMAR at baseline to 0.80 logMAR at study end. CONCLUSIONS: Except for one eye with temporary, self-resolving cystoid macular oedema, single and repeated intravitreal applications of EGF (0.75 µg) in patients with GA did not lead to intraocular inflammations or any observed intraocular side effect. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN12733334.

Macular Degeneration , Macular Edema , Humans , Middle Aged , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Macular Edema/drug therapy , Bevacizumab/therapeutic use , Epidermal Growth Factor/therapeutic use , Angiogenesis Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Prospective Studies , Tomography, Optical Coherence , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A , Macular Degeneration/diagnosis , Macular Degeneration/drug therapy