Klin Monbl Augenheilkd 2021; 238(05): 561-568
DOI: 10.1055/a-1487-1742
Übersicht

Ophthalmic Outpatient and Inpatient Care Under Pandemic Conditions: Hygiene, Triage and New Challenges

Article in several languages: English | deutsch
Lars-Olof Hattenbach
1  Augenklinik, Klinikum der Stadt Ludwigshafen gGmbH, Deutschland
,
Nicolas Feltgen
2  Augenklinik, Universitätsmedizin Göttingen, Deutschland
,
Nicole Eter
3  Klinik für Augenheilkunde, Universitätsklinikum Münster, Deutschland
,
Sami Al-Nawaiseh
3  Klinik für Augenheilkunde, Universitätsklinikum Münster, Deutschland
,
Argyrios Chronopoulos
1  Augenklinik, Klinikum der Stadt Ludwigshafen gGmbH, Deutschland
› Author Affiliations

Abstract

Background The progression of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant changes in the environment for outpatient and inpatient care in ophthalmology, with limitations on access to medical care but also new observations and challenges. We now describe major developments in recent months and provide an outlook on the expected consequences.

Methods PubMed literature search, clinical survey.

Results To date, the course of the COVID-19 pandemic has been characterised by several new but overall rare ocular manifestations, the ophthalmological shared management of COVID-19 patients on intensive care units, and a significant decrease in case numbers, associated with an increase in case severity and relative proportion of emergencies, as a result of delayed presentation of patients and reduced treatment adherence. With the introduction of hygiene measures and infection control procedures, ophthalmic patient care was maintained – including emergencies and urgent treatments. Due to the extensive postponement of elective surgeries, scarce therapeutic and health care professional resources, and the prioritisation of critically ill patients from other specialties, there is a reasonable likelihood that urgent treatments will be delayed as infection rates rise.

Conclusion Outpatient and inpatient care in ophthalmology during the COVID-19 pandemic is primarily accompanied by additional organisational or medical challenges and a decline in case volume. Although to date emergency and urgent ophthalmic treatments have been maintained, long-term persistence of pandemic conditions will require additional strategies to provide continuation of ophthalmic care at the required level.



Publication History

Received: 15 February 2021

Accepted: 19 April 2021

Publication Date:
21 May 2021 (online)

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