This statement was designed to help clarify guidance for physicians where there was confusion or “circularity” in reference to COVID testing for cataract/ophthalmic procedures.
Some states are unclear in if testing should be mandatory. Some states are recommending physicians listen to their professional organizations for guidance, some professional organizations are recommending listening to state or local officials… thus leaving lack of clarity and or the potential for bureaucracy to dictate medical decisions. Thank you Allison who helped us craft the statement which allows for recommending physician guidance to help determine best practices for their ASC/office/hospital settings. This will allow for flexibility based on type of surgery/anesthesia and the constantly changing local environment. This may also allow for sharing/shifting the liability to the facility if desired based on how one establishes their guidelines. It will allow for physician input to create the guidelines that best apply to the local environment/situation.
The Society for Excellence in Eyecare recommends that physicians should collaborate with their respective facilities and develop guidelines to determine the necessity for pre-examination and pre-operative COVID-19 testing based on the type of exam and/or ophthalmic procedure, planned anesthesia, local circumstances, each individual’s travel and exposure history, symptomatology, and body temperature on the day of examination or surgery. The guidelines should address and make recommendations for instances where active or communicable COVID 19 is suspected.