When it comes to eye health, telehealth may make it challenging to diagnose patients. But in one case, Dr. Shira Robbins, an ophthalmologist at Shiley Eye Institute at UC San Diego Health, had no choice. A patient called with new symptoms of double vision but refused an in-person visit because of fears about COVID-19.
“I had a video visit with her that day and diagnosed a new onset sixth nerve palsy, a disorder that causes your eye to cross inward towards your nose. There are many possible causes but because she also had vertigo it concerned me for a significant brain disease,” said Robbins. “I ordered an immediate MRI. The scan revealed a brain aneurysm. We then got the patient to neurosurgery all through telehealth. It can work with the right patient and right set up. I am so glad she called as we likely saved her life.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, UC San Diego Health has made telehealth available to all of its providers for clinic appointments, express care services and consultations with patients already hospitalized to help maintain social distancing guidelines. UC San Diego Health has also instituted telehealth services with El Centro Regional Medical Center to provide access to experts without requiring the physical transfer of patients.
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