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L Park; The Effect of Terrorism on Ophthalmology Services in New York City . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):344.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose: To analyze the impact of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the number of ophthalmology patients at two hospitals in Manhattan, New York. Methods: Patient registration logs were reviewed at Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital and Bellevue Medical Center for a 6-week period following the September 11th terrorist attacks in New York City. At Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital (MEETH), data was obtained on patients who registered in the general eye clinic, patients taken to the operating room by resident physicians, and patients who presented to the eye emergency room. At Bellevue Hospital, data was collected on patients registered in the general eye clinic, patients taken to the operating room for ophthalmologic surgery, and patients who presented specifically with eye complaints to the emergency room and medical walk-in unit. Data was obtained from September 11 to October 23 for the years 2000 and 2001 and were adjusted to include the same number of weekdays and holidays. The mean number of patients registered per day in each of these categories was calculated. Student t-tests were performed to compare the number of patients seen following the terrorist attacks with those seen in the same time period one year ago. Results: The number of patients registered in the general eye clinic at MEETH decreased 21% from an average of 46.7 (2001) to 36.8 (2000) (p=0.0003). The number of eye emergencies remained the same at 14.6 (2001) and 13.5 (2000). The number of patients taken to the OR by resident physicians also remained stable at 1.8 (2001) compared to 1.6 (2000). At Bellevue Hospital, the number of patients seen in the general eye clinic also decreased 29.5 (2001) versus 34.5 (2000), however, the difference was not statistically significant (p=0.060). The number of patients seen by emergency services with eye complaints did not increase 1.6 (2001) vs. 2.1 (2000). The number of patients taken by residents to the OR during this time period also remained the same 1.2 (2001) vs. 1.0 (2000). Conclusions: We report here that during the 6-week period following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, there was a significant decrease in patients seen in the general eye clinic at Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital. There was also a decrease in the number of patients seen at Bellevue general eye clinic, although the decline was not statistically significant. There was no increase in the number of patients with eye complaints seen in the emergency room of these two hospitals, which may have been due to the prevalence of emergency on-site eye care. Lastly, the number of resident surgical cases was unaffected by the events of this time period.
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