Purpose: The aim of this study is to describe the demographics and clinical profile of patients with ocular disorders presenting during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown in India.
Methods: This cross-sectional hospital-based study included patients presenting between March 23, 2020 and April 19, 2020. All patients who presented to the emergency department were included as cases. The data were collected using an electronic medical record system.
Results: Overall, 1,192 patients (mean 42.57 per day) presented to the ocular emergency department and were included for analysis. The median age of the patients was 35 (Interquartile range, IQR: 20-52) years and they were mostly adults (77.85%). The majority of patients were male (62.16%) and presented from the local metropolitan region (56.21%). On triaging based on the ocular disorders at presentation, the majority of the patients were emergency related (65.02%), followed by urgent (8.14%) and routine (26.85%) in nature. The most common emergencies were microbial keratitis (23.74%), followed by corneal trauma (16.39%). There was an increasing trend seen in emergency patients (46.11%; week 1 to 71.78%; week 4) and a decreasing trend seen in routine patients (45%; week1 to 21.20%; week 4). A subset of patients (23.49%) underwent surgery where indicated and the most commonly performed procedures were vitreo-retinal procedures (32.86%) followed by trauma related (31.43%).
Conclusion: The enforcement of the nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19 resulted in a fewer patients presenting to the hospital. The majority of them presented from the local metropolitan region and the common emergencies were microbial keratitis and corneal trauma. About one fourth required a surgical intervention which was most commonly a vitreo-retinal procedure.
Keywords: COVID-19; India; SARS-CoV-2; electronic medical records; eye care.