(HealthDay)—A drive-through intraocular pressure (IOP) screening clinic allows for continued management during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a research letter published online Jan. 7 in JAMA Ophthalmology.
Miel Sundararajan, M.D., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues developed a drive-through IOP screening clinic to minimize COVID-19 exposure for patients and clinicians by measuring eye pressure in a clinic parking lot. Patients were scheduled with consecutive appointments to optimize workflow. Clinicians wore N95 masks, eye protection, and gloves prior to encountering patients. Patients presented identification and remained in their vehicles; all patients wore masks. Between patient appointments, tonometers were disinfected and individual-use tips replaced.
The researchers found that over nine weeks, 151 visits with 135 patients were conducted. Mean intraocular pressure was 18.2 mm Hg, and 4.7 percent of eyes (14 eyes) had a pressure greater than 30 mm Hg. Five of the eyes exceeding screening IOP thresholds (36 percent) had a pressure greater than 30 mm Hg on repeated measurement by applanation. Of the 151 visits, 30.5 percent resulted in a change in management based on the findings.
“This protocol allowed for continued management of patients with vision-threatening disease during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the authors write. “Although conceived out of necessity, this innovative approach to patient care may continue to serve our patients’ needs well beyond this crisis.”
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