The Royal College of Ophthalmologists and the Macular Society have issued the following important information for patients having treatment for Wet AMD or other conditions needing intravitreal injections during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The NHS and the government are putting in place changes and recommendations in our daily lives to cope with the Coronavirus situation and to prevent exposure to the virus infection. However, hospitals and eye clinics will continue to provide life and sight-saving treatment for wet AMD and other eye conditions.
Hospitals and eye professionals are receiving regular guidance from The Royal College of Ophthalmologists as well as Public Health England on actions to take to ensure everything possible is being done to make sure patients receive their eye injections in a safe environment.
Hospital eye units are being asked to take these actions:
- Cancel all non-urgent care and treatment
- Reduce crowding in waiting rooms by using other waiting areas and making sure that not too many patients arrive at the same time
- Identify the most vulnerable patients who have other serious health conditions, as well as the most elderly patients, and make sure that they are kept away from other patients, for example with separate waiting areas
- Consider using long-lasting drugs or increasing the time between injections where it is safe to do so
- Reduce the number of tests that are done to the safe minimum, and ensure tests and treatment are delivered more efficiently, so that patients spend less time in the clinic
- All staff must strictly observe increased infection control procedures and national isolation policies
- Patients with symptoms of the Coronavirus are not brought into the eye clinic
- Where possible, offer telephone or video consultations for patients who may not need an injection
- We hope these measures will give patients confidence that everything is being done to ensure that they can continue to have their injections safely.
Patients can discuss the situation with their local eye clinic for more information including, for a small number of patients, if there is limited benefit to eye sight and therefore feel this may not justify attendance for injections.
For more information, please call the Macular Society’s Advice and Information service on 0300 3030 111 from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.