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Safety Alert: Retinal vein occlusions post COVID vaccination

13 May 2021

The College supports the delivery of safe and good quality ophthalmic services. The RCOphth responds to changing aspects of eye care delivery by developing ophthalmic safety alerts.

These alerts are designed to inform members to improve the quality and safety of services they provide and are based upon:

  • changes to drug safety
  • updated licencing of therapeutics
  • and adverse incidents.

Read other safety alerts here.

Responding to an increased incidence of Central Venous Sinus Thrombosis

The College had considered the recent reports of an increased incidence of Central Venous Sinus Thrombosis (CVST) in the UK and anecdotal cases of retinal vein occlusion (RVO) in the immediate period (28 days) subsequent to COVID vaccination.

In view of this potential link, the College asks all UK ophthalmologists to consider reporting possible inoculation related cases to the MHRA using their reporting system.

Report cases to the MHRA here

Investigations and management plans should remain in keeping with published guidelines.

Read the Retinal Vein Occlusion RVO Guidelines here.

It is important to remember to ask about hydration, especially in the era of facemasks. In addition, the platelet count is an important parameter in this instance; values less than 150 require immediate further investigation.

Quality and Safety Group (April 2021)

We encourage you to share this information with relevant colleagues.

If you have any queries regarding this alert please contact Jonathan Baker, Quality Improvement Manager, at [email protected]