Here in the U.S., in accordance with recommendations from the American Academy of Surgeons, we’ve cancelled all elective/non-urgent surgeries for approximately six weeks, and maybe longer. This includes any surgery which, if not done, would likely lead to vision loss. Similarly, clinical activities have decreased to only urgent care for most of us. Our government is now working to support more tele ophthalmology care, so we are expanding in this arena now.
We anticipate a near-term shortage of masks, gowns, gloves and similar protective equipment and have implemented these precautionary measures in part to prevent spread of COVID-19 and in part to preserve available stores of protective equipment for a possible surge in COVID – 19 patients in our hospitals. We are still ramping up our testing capacity, so are just beginning to learn of the scale of the epidemic in the U.S.
We wish would like to share our best wishes for a safe and hopefully brief experience with this outbreak. Although travel will be limited for the present, we look forward to connecting with you online and in person in the not too distant future.
Dr. Mitchell V. Brinks MD, MPH
International Ophthalmology/ Domestic Outreach