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Risk of Virus Spread with Tonometry - esp Air-Puff Tonometry


There are increasingly reports of  the risks with tonometry for intraocular pressure measurement, especially non-contact methods such as air-puff tonometry. As early as 1991, concerns were raised regarding micro-aerosol formation during air-puff tonometry (Britt JM, Clifton BC, Barnebey HS, Mills RP. Microaerosol Formation in Noncontact 'Air-Puff' Tonometry. Arch Ophthalmol. 1991;109(2):225–228). 

In their excellent paper on infection control lessons learned from the Coronavirus epidemic in Hong Kong, Lai and colleagues reported that non-contact tonometry was avoided for fear of increasing viral micros aerosol formation. 

Similarly, in an article entitled "General recommendations to protect Staff and Patients from COVID-19, based on lessons learned in Italy" published in Eurotimes Ophthalmology released on 18th March 2020, the author Dr Lucio Buratto writes

" Avoid non-contact tonometry (air-puff tonometry). In patients with COVID-19 associated conjunctivitis, virus DNA was found. Air puff tonometry in such patients may produce a significant amount of virus-loaded aerosol in the local area, thus effectively spreading the virus."

 

 

Lai, Tracy & Tang, Emily & Chau, Sandy & Fung, Kitty & Li, Kenneth K.W.. (2020). Stepping up infection control measures in ophthalmology during the novel coronavirus outbreak: an experience from Hong Kong. Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology. 1-7. 10.1007/s00417-020-04641-8. 


1 comment


  • D. Bowen

    Is there a way we can get your product shipped to the US?


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