Covid-19 and corneal transplants

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Anne Klepacz
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Covid-19 and corneal transplants

Postby Anne Klepacz » Wed 25 Mar 2020 9:54 am

We have received the following letter from NHS Blood and Transplant which I hope will reassure those who have had a transplant and have no other underlying condition.
The e-mail accompanying the letter gave the following summary -

"Fit, healthy recipients who are not immune suppressed are not included in the vulnerable list, it is only if they have other conditions".

24th March 2020

Dear Cornea / Tissue transplant recipient
Important information about COVID-19
In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to provide some general information for recipients of cornea / tissue transplants and advice around whether you should consider yourself in a vulnerable group.
Patients who are otherwise healthy and have had a corneal transplant or tissue transplant in the past should follow current government advice on self-isolation as required. Those who are currently on immunosuppressive drugs, or oral steroids, or suffer from one of the other conditions listed must strictly self-isolate in line with the government advice for vulnerable groups and contact your surgeon for further advice. If you have recently stopped immune suppressive treatment, it may continue to reduce your body’s immunity for 6 weeks and you should self-isolate for at least this length of time.
It is reassuring that transmission of respiratory viruses such as COVID-19 by blood transfusion or tissue transplantation has not been reported.
For any specific concerns in relation to your underlying disease which required or still requires a cornea / tissue transplant, or any other treatments necessary for your condition, we would recommend strongly that you seek advice from your surgeon.
We very much hope that you will stay safe and healthy during these challenging times.
Yours faithfully

Jeremy Prydal - Chair, Ocular Tissue Advisory Group
Akila Chandrasekar - Consultant, Tissue and Eye Services, NHSBT
Ulrike Paulus – Consultant, Tissue and Eye Services, NHSBT

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Anne Klepacz
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Posts: 2088
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Keratoconus: Yes, I have KC
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Re: Covid-19 and corneal transplants

Postby Anne Klepacz » Sat 28 Mar 2020 9:11 pm

Just to add that letters to the 'vulnerable' seem to have been triggered in some cases by just the word 'transplant' in medical records - the NHS obviously wanted to make sure they didn't leave anyone out even if that meant some people would get a letter when it didn't apply to them. So to re-iterate, if a corneal transplant is the ONLY thing that puts you in the vulnerable group, the advice has probably been sent to you in error. See this helpful statement and check with your GP if still in doubt.
https://digital.nhs.uk/news-and-events/ ... unications

Green
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Re: Covid-19 and corneal transplants

Postby Green » Fri 10 Apr 2020 11:53 am

I would add though, this is all very well but Covid can and does cause eye irritation, itching, and for some people conjunctivitis which for those of us reliant on a lens or with sutures wouldn't be good


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