Changes in practice guidelines and regulations in ophthalmology due to COVID-19
Purpose: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and has been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). The purpose of the study was to summarize the current recommendations and practice guidelines to be implemented in ophthalmology due to COVID-19.
Study design: A systematic review of literature.
Methods: A systematic literature search was performed using MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Clinical Trials.gov, and ProQuest Dissertations and Theses until May 25, 2020. All conferences held through Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, American Academy of Ophthalmology, and Canadian Society of Ophthalmology were also searched until May 25, 2020. Eligible articles were identified by reviewing the retrieved results.
Results: In total, 57 records were retrieved from multiple databases and 0 records were identified through grey literature search. Ten articles were included for analysis. Rigorous hand hygiene, proper screening, and proper use of protective personal equipment by both staff and patients were strongly advised. Careful triage of patients upon arrival to facilities based on screening was advised along with deferral of any non-urgent appointments and implementing measures to limit exposure in waiting rooms. Routine disinfection of equipment, use of shields or barriers on slit lamps, and limiting the use of instruments and tests were strongly recommended and advised.
Conclusions: The implementation of guidelines should be in place for ophthalmologic staff, facilities, and visitors to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 and promote a safer environment in ophthalmology.
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