New guidelines for treating patients with eye emergencies
The Precision Eye Institute is committed to providing high quality emergency eye care in the New Smyrna Beach and Edgewater area for new and existing patients. The new coronavirus is touching us all, one way or another. The virus is infectious but so are the preventative measures we all can take.
The following are guidelines put forth by the American Academy of Ophthalmology on how to treat treat patients under the current situation:
- Patients who come to an appointment should be asked prior to entering the waiting room about respiratory illness and whether they or a family member have traveled to a high-risk area in the past 14 days. If they answer yes to either question, they should be sent home and told to speak to their primary care physician.
- Keep the waiting room as empty as possible, advise seated patients to remain at least 6 feet from one another. As much as prudent, reduce the visits of the most vulnerable patients.
- The use of commercially available slit-lamp barriers or breath shields is encouraged, as they may provide a measure of added protection against the virus. These barriers do not, however, prevent contamination of equipment and surfaces on the patient’s side of the barrier, which may then be touched by staff and other patients and lead to transmission. Homemade barriers may be more difficult to sterilize and could be a source of contamination. In general, barriers are not a substitute for careful cleaning of equipment between patients and asking those patients who cough, sneeze, or have flu-like symptoms to wear masks during examination.
- To further decrease the risk of any virus transmission, ophthalmologists should inform their patients that they will speak as little as possible during the examination and request that the patient also refrain from talking. Communication can begin once social distancing is observed after the exam.
- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Health and Human Services have allowed for the expanded use of telehealth services during the COVID-19 public health crisis. For more information on telephone services, internet-based consultation or telemedicine exam, for more information on these services or you if you are experiencing any eye difficulties and you thick you are in need of emergency eye care in New Smyrna Beach, please contact the Precision Eye Institute.
The Precision Eye Institute wants everyone to know that we are all in this together and we will be available in these difficult and uncertain times. We are abiding by Governor DeSantis’s order and will be closed until May 1, 2020. We know as a medical facility, we don’t need to close but feel it’s our duty in order relieve the demand of much needed resources such as face masks and medical gowns.