Purpose: To compare the incidence and clinical characteristics of retinal detachments (RDs) diagnosed in a tertiary eye emergency department (EED) during the COVID-19 pandemic and in the corresponding period of the previous 4 years. Methods: EED consultations performed from February 21, 2020 (first national case of COVID-19 infection) to May 3, 2020 (end of lockdown imposed by national Government) and for the same date range of 2016-2019 (pre-COVID-19 period), and with a confirmed diagnosis of RD were collected and reviewed. The following demographical and clinical features have been analyzed: age, gender, etiology of RD, macular involvement, best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), and duration of experienced symptoms. Results: Eighty-two subjects (20.5±1.0 eyes/year) were diagnosed with RD in the pre-COVID-19 period, compared to 12 patients in the COVID-19 period (-41.5%). During the pandemic, patients complained symptoms for a median of 8.5 days (IQR, 1.7-15 days) before the EED consultation, while in the pre-COVID-19 period, they declared they had been symptomatic for 2 days (IQR, 1-4 days) (p=0.037); macula-off RD raised from 56% to 75% and no one reported trauma as a triggering event. Conclusion: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate of RD diagnosed in our EED decreased significantly and patients waited longer before asking for an ophthalmologic examination. These findings are probably due to the fear of contracting the COVID-19 infection attending hospital environments. Even if emergency departments are often misused by people suffering non-urgent conditions, patients complaining of sudden visual loss, visual field defects, or phosphenes should always and promptly attend an EED visit to prevent a worse prognosis.

Influence of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Admissions for Retinal Detachment in a Tertiary Eye Emergency Department

Franzolin, Elia
;
Longo, Rosa;Casati, Stefano;Ceruti, Piero;Marchini, Giorgio
2021

Abstract

Purpose: To compare the incidence and clinical characteristics of retinal detachments (RDs) diagnosed in a tertiary eye emergency department (EED) during the COVID-19 pandemic and in the corresponding period of the previous 4 years. Methods: EED consultations performed from February 21, 2020 (first national case of COVID-19 infection) to May 3, 2020 (end of lockdown imposed by national Government) and for the same date range of 2016-2019 (pre-COVID-19 period), and with a confirmed diagnosis of RD were collected and reviewed. The following demographical and clinical features have been analyzed: age, gender, etiology of RD, macular involvement, best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), and duration of experienced symptoms. Results: Eighty-two subjects (20.5±1.0 eyes/year) were diagnosed with RD in the pre-COVID-19 period, compared to 12 patients in the COVID-19 period (-41.5%). During the pandemic, patients complained symptoms for a median of 8.5 days (IQR, 1.7-15 days) before the EED consultation, while in the pre-COVID-19 period, they declared they had been symptomatic for 2 days (IQR, 1-4 days) (p=0.037); macula-off RD raised from 56% to 75% and no one reported trauma as a triggering event. Conclusion: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate of RD diagnosed in our EED decreased significantly and patients waited longer before asking for an ophthalmologic examination. These findings are probably due to the fear of contracting the COVID-19 infection attending hospital environments. Even if emergency departments are often misused by people suffering non-urgent conditions, patients complaining of sudden visual loss, visual field defects, or phosphenes should always and promptly attend an EED visit to prevent a worse prognosis.
COVID-19 pandemic
EED
RD
eye
eye emergency department
lockdown
retinal detachment
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1044234
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