June 2022
Volume 63, Issue 7
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2022
Impact of government-imposed lockdown due to the COVID-19 Pandemic on admissions and severity of retinal detachments in a referral eye hospital in Germany.
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Piotr Strzalkowski
    Ophthalmology, HELIOS Dr Horst Schmidt Kliniken Wiesbaden, Germany
  • Constantin Reiter
    Ophthalmology, HELIOS Dr Horst Schmidt Kliniken Wiesbaden, Germany
  • Stefan Dithmar
    Ophthalmology, HELIOS Dr Horst Schmidt Kliniken Wiesbaden, Germany
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Piotr Strzalkowski None; Constantin Reiter None; Stefan Dithmar None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2022, Vol.63, 3443 – F0343. doi:
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      Piotr Strzalkowski, Constantin Reiter, Stefan Dithmar; Impact of government-imposed lockdown due to the COVID-19 Pandemic on admissions and severity of retinal detachments in a referral eye hospital in Germany.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2022;63(7):3443 – F0343.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose : To analyze the patient characteristics and severity of retinal detachments (RDs) in a referral eye hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic with a corresponding timeline a year before.

Methods : Retrospective cohort study based on electronic patient records of all patients with confirmed diagnosis of RD from February 22, 2020 (lockdown imposed by German Government) to May 4, 2020 (end of lockdown) and following 2 weeks after lockdown period (LP) in the Department of Ophthalmology, Helios Dr. Horst Schmidt Klinikum (HSK), Wiesbaden, Germany, were analyzed and compared to the equivalent pre-COVID-period (p-Cp) from February 22, 2019, to May 4, 2019).

Results : During LP 26 patients were diagnosed with RD compared to 60 patients in the p-Cp (-56.7%, p<0.01). Within 2 weeks after LP a total of 13 with RD were admitted. A year before, two weeks after p-Cp 26 patients with RD were admitted, respectively (-50%, p<0.01). There was no statistical difference in age between LP group and p-Cp group (65.3±11.5 vs. 69.1±12.3 years (p>0.05)). Time between initial symptoms and ophthalmological examination was significantly longer in LP group (p<0.01). While usage of gas tamponade and silicone oil tamponade was similar in both LP and p-Cp group, there was a significant increase of proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) RD needing silicone oil tamponade within two weeks after LP ended in Germany (LP 53.8% vs. p-Cp 23.1%) (p<0.01).

Conclusions : During government-imposed lockdown caused by COVID-19 pandemic, the rate of patients admitted with RD dropped significantly compared to the same p-Cp. Time between initial symptoms and ophthalmological examination was significantly longer in LP group, with consecutively more PVR-RD needing silicone oil tamponade within the following two weeks after lockdown period ended. While policymakers have focused primarily on containing chains of infection with SARS-CoV-2, it has had a massive impact on the medical care of ophthalmic emergencies with worsening prognosis after retinal detachment.

This abstract was presented at the 2022 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Denver, CO, May 1-4, 2022, and virtually.

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