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As Malaysia called to arms its front liners for the COVID-19 pandemic, Hospital Kuala Lumpur was converted into a hybrid hospital to handle both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients. There was a reprioritization of services affecting all hospital units, including ophthalmology. We illustrate the challenges faced with two ophthalmic emergency cases that presented during this trying period: a case of left eye posterior globe rupture sustained through a motor vehicle accident and another case of right eye bleb leakage 3 weeks post-trabeculectomy.

This report highlights the various perioperative challenges faced by the ophthalmology team in managing these cases. Amongst them were logistic and technical challenges, which included the wait for COVID-19 test results, ophthalmic services scattered between three buildings, and the initial lack of guidelines. Disruption to our emergency ophthalmic workflow required adaptation and improvisation.

As we transition to resume “normal” ophthalmic services, healthcare centres will undergo frequent remodelling in their usual work processes to ensure that high standards of care are upheld whilst protecting healthcare workers.