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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 68  |  Issue : 10  |  Page : 2126-2130

Managing vitreoretinal surgeries during COVID-19 lockdown in India: Experiences and future implications

Dr. Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Atul Kumar
Retina Services, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi - 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_2140_20

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Purpose: The study aims to describe the clinical and demographic profile of patients who required vitreoretinal surgeries during the novel coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) lockdown in India. It also reports our operating protocols and initial experience while performing vitreoretinal surgeries during COVID-19 times at a government tertiary eye care hospital. Methods: This is a retrospective cross-sectional observational study of patients requiring emergent/urgent vitreoretinal surgeries between March 25, 2020 and May 31, 2020. A modified working protocol focussing on the enforcement of standard COVID-19 precautions, OT sterilization, and formation of dedicated infection control and disease surveillance committee was adopted. Patients underwent standard vitreoretinal procedures under general/local anesthesia. Relevant demographic and clinical data were recorded and analyzed. Surveillance data of healthcare workers (HCW) was also analyzed. Results: Eighty six patients were considered for vitreoretinal surgery in this period. Finally, 83 patients underwent surgery. The mean age of the patients was 38.4 ± 20.1 years (Range, 1 month - 75 years). Majority of them were males (66%) and adults (82.6%). Majority of them came from nearby hotspot areas. Most common indications were acute retinal detachment (38.5%) and diabetic vitrectomies (22.9%). Trauma-related cases (14.4%) were less. Surgery was deferred in 3 patients who turned out to be COVID-19 positive. 4 HCWs were quarantined but none of them developed COVID-19 disease. Conclusion: During COVID-19 lockdown, vitreoretinal surgeries were most commonly performed for retinal detachment and diabetic complications. Proper implementation of infection control protocols helps in delivering adequate patient care while ensuring the safety of caregivers during this pandemic.

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