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Colorado ODs Seek to Keep Patients Out of Emergency Rooms

The October public health initiative is taking place on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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DENVER —A newly launched campaign in Colorado seeks to educate residents on what to do in case of an eye emergency.

The October awareness initiative is the work of doctors of optometry across Colorado, 2020 Eyes Colorado and the Colorado Optometric Association. It’s especially relevant for Colorado populations vulnerable to COVID-19 as the state approaches a possible surge in COVID-19 cases during winter, according to a press release.

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COA Board President Dr. Tom Cruse said, “During the March/April shutdown our doctors of optometry were able to stop most eye emergency cases from going to urgent care and emergency facilities, which clearly assisted in slowing the virus spread and reducing individual exposure. As usual, optometrists still have the ability to treat emergency eye cases and we want every Coloradan to know how to use our emergency services for their own health and safety.”

The CDC National Syndromic Surveillance Program reported that overall emergency room visits declined 42% early in the pandemic, but viral infection cases quadrupled, making emergency facilities a potential risk for many Coloradans. Optometry’s vulnerable patient population is affected by diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, which are known to complicate COVID-19 cases.

The October public health initiative is taking place on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using #2020EyesColorado and at 2020EyesColorado.org. Colorado optometry practices across the state have also geared up to join the initiative on social media to help spread the word in their own communities.

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To learn more about what to do in an eye emergency, read the newly released 2020 Eyes Colorado article Eye Emergencies: Where to Go and What to Do.

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