The American Academy of Ophthalmology is recommending all ophthalmologists suspend routine patient visits and begin providing only urgent or emergent care during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“Each of us has a societal responsibility to not function as a vector of a potentially fatal disease — and one for which a widely available treatment or vaccine does not currently exist,” the AAO wrote in a press release. “All other factors — business, finance, inconvenience, etc — are remotely secondary. This is an existential crisis. We as physicians must respond to it and support our colleagues and our communities.”
With COVID-19 cases now in every U.S. state and having the potential to kill tens of millions around the world, physicians must be cognizant and reduce the risk for transmission as much as possible.
The AAO recognizes that what is urgent or emergent differs for each physician but asks its members and fellow ophthalmologists to take individual patient circumstances into consideration and use good judgement.