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Francois Ameloot, Nelly Agrinier, Fanny Tréchot, Toufic Maalouf, Karine Angioi; Activity and epidemiology of a recently opened ophthalmic emergency center in a University Hospital. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):4399.
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To investigate activity, and characteristics of ophthalmic emergencies, in a recently opened unit of ophthalmic emergencies care in a University hospital, in order to evaluate and improve the management of patients and the running of the department.
Prospective monocentric cross-sectional study of ophthalmic emergencies over a 2-months period. All patients, presenting themselves, or referred, for ophthalmic emergencies have been included. Patient’s characteristics, waiting-time, pathology and the reality of the emergency were analysed.
1496 patients were examined. Mean age was 45 years and 55% were male. The median of waiting time was 30 minutes and 28% of patients were registered during the on-call time. 28% of patients had to drive more than 32 miles to get ophthalmic emergency cares. The main reasons for consultation were red eye (32%), pain (29%), and visual loss (23%). The main diagnoses were ocular trauma (28%), ocular inflammation and infection (24%), normal examination and refractive error (13%).In cases where eye protection would have been required only 16% of the patients were in fact wearing a protection. We have estimated that 38% of our patients did not need an ophthalmic specialized emergency examination or treatment. Numerus and various daily ophtalmic emergencies often require relevant diagnosis and treatment. This unit allowed taking care of patients in a satisfactory manner and within reasonable waiting time. It has also improved the care of patients with a scheduled consultation. Better information of the population and prevention of trauma and infection could help decreasing the number and the severity of ophtalmic emergencies. An improvement of the general and emergency practitioners knowledges in regards to ophthalmic pathologies could allow them to diagnose and treat benign cases.
There is a real need for a permanent ophthalmic emergency department. The creation of a specialized emergencies unit within our department allowed us to offer better care for patients and a better working environment for practitioners.
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