Umhlanga Eye InstituteUmhlanga Eye Institute

MANAGing THE RISKS OF COVID-19

Umhlanga Eye Institute is a day care eye hospital. No patients are admitted overnight, and we do not treat any COVID disease.

All staff members, doctors and patients arriving at the hospital are screened ever day by means of an electronic questionnaire and Temperature screening.

PLEASE ALERT US IF YOU OR A PERSON LIVING IN YOUR HOUSE HAS RECENTLY HAD A COVID TEST OR COVID SYMPTOMS.

We have a policy of mandatory PPE use at all times in the hospital. Various types of masks are used according to the risks associated with each procedure.

ALL patients that are scheduled for surgery will need to have a COVID PCR test within 72 hours of the day of surgery. Your doctor will arrange this test for you and will communicate the result to you and to the hospital manager prior to your arrival at the hospital.

IMPORTANT: For the days between your COVID test and your operation, you are required to remain at home to reduce the risk of you becoming infected. This means NO trips to shops and NO social events (incl dinners with friends). This is to protect YOU and our staff. You should alert your doctor immediately if you develop any symptoms suggestive of COVID between your test and your admission.

If your COVID PCR test is positive, you will be contacted by your doctor and your operation will be delayed. We will guide you as to when it is safe to consider surgery. In some instances, we may recommend that you see your own doctor, a specialist physician or sometimes have further tests to help us guide you and your family. There are other tests like a COVID antibody test or an antigen test that sometimes help to guide decisions.

If you are having a second procedure at the hospital withing two weeks (for example a cataract procedure on your second eye), the following protocol will be used:

  • You will have a COVID PCR test within 72 hours of your first procedure. This will be arranged by your doctor and will be done at one of the testing laboratories.
  • If your second procedure is performed within 2 weeks of your first PCR test, you will NOT need to repeat the PCR test before your second procedure, but you will have a Abbott Rapid Antigen swab test done on the day of surgery, immediately prior to surgery. This is performed by a nursing staff member at Umhlanga Eye and the results will be available within approximately 15 mins.

It is important to understand that if the antigen test is POSITIVE, we will postpone your surgery and you will NOT be admitted. Further advice about how to manage your health and protect those that are in close contact with you. Your doctor will refer you to your family doctor for further treatment.
Your surgery will need to be re-scheduled until it is safe to proceed. If your surgery is urgent, your doctor will consider all aspects with you and may do further tests to guide a decision based on safety.

FINALLY, it is very important that you alert your doctor immediately if you develop any COVID symptoms within 1 week after your operation. You should also inform us if a member of your household tests positive for COVID in the week after your visit to us.

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