Tags: Coronavirus | virus | covid-19 | red eyes | symptoms | washington nursing home

Nurse: Sickest Coronavirus Patients Have Red Eyes

a patient is loaded into an ambulance at the life care center nursing home in kirkland, washington
A patient is loaded into an ambulance at the Life Care Center nursing home in Kirkland, Washington. (Ted S. Warren/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 24 March 2020 08:11 AM

Chelsey Earnest, a veteran registered nurse who cared for coronavirus patients at a Kirkland, Washington, nursing home — which was hit hard by the outbreak — said the sickest ones all seemed to have red eyes.

"It's something that I witnessed in all of them (the patients)," she told CNN. "They have, like ... allergy eyes. The white part of the eye is not red. It's more like they have red eye shadow on the outside of their eyes."

The news network said for Earnest and her colleagues at the Life Care Center and admitting doctors at a nearby hospital, the red eyes had become the sign the coronavirus had struck.

"We've had patients that just had the red eyes as the only symptom that we saw and go to the hospital and pass away," she said.

"I've even had the disaster medical control physician say, 'Do they have the red eyes?' And I will say yes. And he'll say, 'I'll find you a bed.' It's just something about this, the way that it affects these patients."

The New York Times reported that since the first positive test at Life Care came back in late February, 129 people there — including 81 residents — have tested positive for the virus and 35 people have died.

In an alert to its members on Sunday, the American Academy of Ophthalmology noted there are several reports that COVID-19 can lead to conjunctivitis, which can lead to a reddening of and around the eyes.

And All About Vision reported that coronavirus patients may have ocular symptoms. It specifically cited conjunctivitis, often referred to as "pink eye."

However, red or pink eyes are not on the list of coronavirus symptoms by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported that on Monday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said there were major violations at the nursing home that created imminent danger.

But Tim Killean, a spokesman for the nursing home, said officials did not take into account the unprecedented nature of the outbreak.

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Chelsey Earnest, a veteran registered nurse who cared for coronavirus patients at a Kirkland, Washington, nursing home - which was hit hard by the outbreak - said the sickest ones all seemed to have red eyes.
virus, covid-19, red eyes, symptoms, washington nursing home
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2020-11-24
Tuesday, 24 March 2020 08:11 AM
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