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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 316-319

Preoperative universal screening for COVID-19 in patients undergoing ophthalmic surgeries: Experience from a tertiary eye care center in Saudi Arabia


Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, King Saud University Medical City, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rakan S Al-Essa
Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, King Saud University Medical City, King Saud University, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/sjopt.sjopt_8_21

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PURPOSE: This study aims to determine the frequency of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) among patients scheduled for elective and emergency ophthalmic surgeries in a tertiary eye care center in Saudi Arabia. METHODS: This observational retrospective study was performed between June 1, 2020, and October 31, 2020, in a single tertiary eye care center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. All patients who were given appointments for elective or emergency surgeries were included in the study. All patients underwent preoperative nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction testing for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 virus. Retrospective chart review of all patients who tested positive for COVID-19 was performed for the demographic and clinical information; presence of symptoms upon presentation, nature, and urgency of the scheduled surgical intervention; and the overall outcomes. RESULTS: A total of 727 patients were scheduled for elective or emergency ophthalmic surgeries during the study period. The mean age of all patients was 61.3 years, 407 were males (55.9%) and 320 were females (44.1%). Of 727 patients tested for COVID-19, the test was positive in 17 (2.3%) patients. All patients who tested positive for COVID-19 were asymptomatic at the time of swabbing. No patient-related perioperative complications or health-care workers' affection secondary to exposure to positive cases were documented. CONCLUSION: The study showed that almost 1 in 43 patients scheduled for elective or emergency ophthalmic surgeries may be positive for COVID-19. All positive cases were asymptomatic at the time of swabbing, underscoring the importance of the routine preoperative screening for COVID-19.


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