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Preoperative COVID-19 testing for elective vitreoretinal surgeries: Experience from a major tertiary care institute in South India.

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    • Abstract:
      Purpose: To study the prevalence of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 virus infection (COVID-19) among patients undergoing elective vitreoretinal surgeries at a tertiary care eye hospital.Methods: This cross-sectional, observational study was performed between July 16, 2020 and August 31, 2020, in the retina clinic of a tertiary care eye hospital in south India. All patients undergoing elective retinal surgical procedures underwent RT-PCR testing for SARS-CoV-2 before being posted for surgery and after obtaining informed consent. Patients planned for surgery under general anesthesia underwent additional computed tomography of the chest. Testing strategies and outcomes were documented.Results: Out of a total of 413 patients who were given appointments for surgery during this period, nine patients (2.2%) were found to have positive RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2, and their surgeries were postponed. The test positivity (prevalence) rate of asymptomatic COVID-19 infection among all elective vitreoretinal surgical patients in our hospital was 2.2%. None of the patients were symptomatic for COVID-19.Conclusion: Our results showed that among patients visiting high volume ophthalmic centers in the near future, approximately 1 in 45 patients may be asymptomatic, SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR positive. Asymptomatic COVID-19 patients may lead to chances of transmission of the virus inside healthcare facilities among other visiting patients and healthcare workers. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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