The novel coronavirus 2019 outbreak has wreaked havoc all over the world. The pandemic had created a lot of pressure on society and the healthcare system. The virus has put both patient and practitioner at high risk of infection because many medical specialities involve various examinations and surgeries.
Ophthalmic surgeries and practices carry some exceptional risks that can increase the risk of spreading virus. Instruments involved in ophthalmic practices may act as a medium of transmission. Therefore, the cases of surgery and other examinations require high vigilance and special precautions.
Cataract surgery is the most safely performed procedure with a high success rate. Cataract surgery is performed to remove cloudy lens in the eyes.
It is the most common procedure but pandemic has terrified people for this surgery as well. The reason behind fear is the source of virus spread. The virus can be spread through the inhalation of infected droplets released from the cough of an infected person.
To eliminate the misconception of acquiring a virus during cataract surgery, it is important to understand the procedure of the surgery. The procedure includes:
LASIK surgery can be done to correct vision problems such as near-sightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. LASIK is an optional procedure. Delay in the process doesn’t impact negatively. It is a good choice for health care workers who are at high risk of virus spread.
Despite the threat of the COVID-19 virus spread, the demand for LASIK surgery has increased because:
Some medical conditions cannot be delayed just because of COVID-19, they should perform in a highly organised and preventive manner. There are various protocols to prevent the virus from the spread to patients as well as healthcare workers.
Eye care examiner should wear a surgical mask, face shields and gloves during close procedures. The glove must be changed or disinfected after every eye examination.The patient should not allow entering in the hospital without wearing a mask.
All the equipment involved in procedures should be disinfected with alcohol after every eye examination.Disposable and single-use instruments are encouraged to use in the surgeries.
Avoid cash payment as it increases the risk of virus spread. Encourage the use of the online mode of bill payment to reduce the possibility of transmission.
Healthcare professional should allow only one patient at a time for examination. Avoid attendant to visit in office during the examination.Improving the waiting system outside the office is necessary to manage the less contact time of patient to the hospital premises. Provide alternate seats to patients to maintain social distancing
Quick vision test time is appreciated to minimize contact time with the patient. Check temperature and provide hand sanitiser to the patient before starting the examination.
The Non-essential examinations may be put on hold for the future. Only emergency cases should allow for examination.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a significant decline has been noted in ophthalmic surgeries. But considering the threat of the COVID-19 virus, it becomes crucial to adhere to the safety precautions. Now ophthalmic surgeries have been resumed worldwide followed by improved infection control measures. With proper precautions, ophthalmic surgeries during the COVID-19 pandemic is no longer a matter of concern. But implementing some simple steps during surgery is vital to consider because the COVID-19 virus still exists.