Bill Harvey: Down in the sewer
Author: Yiannis Kotoulas
As we go to press this week, the trial of the smartphone tracing app is about to start on the Isle of Wight. South Korea immediately implemented a strict ‘track and trace’ programme, along with extensive testing, and had no more than nine deaths on any one day. The death figures for the UK are now the highest in Europe, if you include those predicted for care homes (originally not included by the government), and that is excluding associated deaths such as those dying of a coronary while suffering Covid-19. Bear this in mind before next Sunday’s announcement.
But life does and must go on, so here are two recent papers which reflect well on our profession and are well worth a read. The ‘most read’ paper in OPO at present is an excellent study by Dr Anish Jindal and a team at City and Moorfields looks at the use of OCT by UK community optometrists in diagnostic decision-making. For some years, we have been too used to complaints that optoms using OCT tend to over-refer, much to the annoyance of most of us I am sure. Jindal’s study finally puts this view to bed, and ‘suggests that OCT improves optometrists’ diagnostic performance compared to fundus observation alone. These initial results suggest that OCT provides valuable additional data that could augment case-finding for glaucoma and retinal disease.’ So, carry on OCTing.
You might also want to read a high profile paper by Rebecca Bartlett and the team at Cardiff University (https://doi.org/10.1038/s41433-020-0860-x) which ‘supports that the clinical decision-making ability of low vision optometrists in the certification of patients with vision impairment and provides evidence in support of policy change to allow low vision optometrists to certify individuals with atrophic AMD.’ Low vision practitioners, breathe a sigh of relief.
RIP Dave Greenfield – must relisten to the last track on Rattus Norvegicus.