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Clinical Experience in the Administration of Intravitreal Injection Therapy at a Tertiary University Hospital in Jordan During the COVID-19 Lockdown

Authors Saleh OA, Jammal H, Alqudah N, Alqudah A, Abu-Yaghi N

Received 24 June 2020

Accepted for publication 10 August 2020

Published 24 August 2020 Volume 2020:14 Pages 2473—2480


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Omar A Saleh,1 Hisham Jammal,1 Noor Alqudah,1 Asem Alqudah,1 Nakhleh Abu-Yaghi2

1Department of Ophthalmology, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan; 2Department of Special Surgery/Ophthalmology Division, School of Medicine, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan

Correspondence: Omar A Saleh Department of Ophthalmology
Jordan University of Science and Technology, 3030 Ramtha Street, Irbid 22110, Jordan
Tel +962-2-754-1594

Purpose: To describe the clinical experience with the delivery of intravitreal injection therapy to patients with various indications at a tertiary university hospital during the COVID-19 lockdown in Jordan.
Methods: This is a retrospective observational study of patients who received intravitreal injections between April 12th and May 9th, 2020, a period during the national COVID-19 lockdown (March 16th to June 6th, 2020). Special medical and logistic arrangements, priority and visual risk assessment and strict infection control precautions were implemented. Demographics, diagnosis, intravitreal injection history, medical history, ophthalmic examinations and optical coherence tomography data were collected and analyzed.
Results: Intravitreal injections were successfully administered to 132 patients with diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration and retinal vein occlusion. All logistic and transmission control measures were followed by the medical staff and patients with no incidents. No new exposures or COVID-19 positive cases were traced to our location or time of therapy. No complications related to the injections were recorded. The mean period of delay due to the lockdown from the original scheduled appointment was six weeks. Mean visual acuity significantly decreased from 20/55 before the lockdown to 20/70 after the lockdown, and mean central macular thickness significantly increased from 329 to 370 μ.
Conclusion: The administration of intravitreal injection therapy during the COVID-19 lockdown under special safety precautions was feasible and successful. Resumption of the essential therapies and medical services during periods of pandemic restrictions while adhering to strict transmission control measures is encouraged.

Keywords: intravitreal injections, COVID-19, lockdown, diabetic macular edema, age-related macular degeneration

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