ABN: COVID-19 and Fundoscopy/Cranial Nerve Examination
25 March 2020
Advisory notice: COVID-19 and fundoscopy/cranial nerve examination
Concern has been raised about the potential for COVID-19 transmission through procedures that bring healthcare staff in close proximity with the nose, mouth and eyes of patients including fundoscopy and other parts of the cranial nerve examination. There are emerging reports of anosmia and dysgeusia in individuals with COVID-19, suggesting the potential for nasal carriage of the virus, which remain as yet unverified.
There is insufficient evidence at present to make a firm recommendation on practice, however, we feel it is important to bring this issue to the attention of neurologists who are examining patients during the current COVID-19 pandemic. At the present time, the ABN suggests members are aware of this issue and only perform these procedures where there is a specific clinical need. Local advice on personal protection equipment should be followed at all times. If an examination is felt necessary, but deferred for any reason, a note should be made of this for follow-up.
The ABN will update members if further information becomes available on this issue.