The daily escalation in incidence and mortality caused by Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has mandated forced curfew in our country (same as many other countries) to limit the spread of infection. This is predicted to have a more negative impact on cochlear implant (CI) patients since this group of patients needs a unique type of psychological, medical, and technical care in addition to a daily rehabilitation program.
A cross-sectional study based on Arabic questionnaire that looked into the collateral consequences of COVID-19 on the pediatric CI patients. The questionnaire was designed to highlight different problems such as exposure to head trauma or ear infection, difficulties in device maintenance and getting spare parts, impacts of the delay of programing or switch on appointments, and the impacts of missing rehabilitation sessions. Different ways of management of these problems are presented and discussed.
A total of 174 parents responded to the questionnaire. The main problem met by the patients was missing their device programing and rehabilitation sessions. Many children had device maintenance and spare parts problems. Virtual clinics were helpful in solving different problems. Additionally, children who needed device programing were scheduled for remote programing sessions.
Although the inevitable consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are catastrophic, they are forcing the medical field to explore new opportunities by sitting up an infrastructure for future usage of telemedicine. Telemedicine is cost-effective and more convenient and enables health-care providers to be immune to future circumstances.