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N. Kumar, O. O. Idowu, F. D. Ford, R. A. Copeland; Epidemiology of Ophthalmology Consultations in an Inner City University Hospital. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):4994.
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To profile numbers and characteristics of patients with eye problems evaluated and managed by the Ophthalmology Consultation Service of an inner city university teaching hospital.
A retrospective review of consultation logs of patients seen by the Ophthalmology consult service at Howard University Hospital, Washington, DC over a two year period from March 11 2005 to March 11 2007. The data was analyzed for frequency of diagnoses, patient demographics, reason for consultation, type of consultation (emergency room or inpatient consult), as well as ophthalmologic diagnoses. Subcategorization of ophthalmologic presentations was also done to determine exact types of traumatic sequelae seen, specific infectious conditions, and subspecialty information.
A total of 1253 patients were seen by the consult service. Men represented 60.54% (758) and women 39.46% (494) of presentations. Inpatient consults accounted for 39.4% of all patients seen, the remaining consults were provided by the emergency department. Of the 759 emergency room consults, 60.2% (457) were associated with trauma, 36.5% of all consults. Of trauma cases 23.75% were women. After trauma, the most common presentation was for infectious etiology at 17% of presentations. Next glaucoma, diabetes and ethambutol screenings each accounted for approximately 5% of consults seen and finally uveitis at 2.79%. We recorded 31 primary ophthalmologic diagnoses.
The emergency department functioned as the primary provider of eye care services for a large segment of Washington D.C’s inner city uninsured patient population. Trauma and infectious etiologies prevailed among emergency presentations and as expected, trauma patients were predominately male. An exhaustive range of primary and secondary ophthalmology diagnoses were seen by the consult service providing for a comprehensive educational experience.This study may be useful as a means to provide collaborative support to other departments in the hospital for the training of their residents regarding ophthalmic diagnoses they are likely to encounter. Projects like this may serve as a basis to clarify the patterns of diseases seen in a hospital setting and satisfy requirements for practice and systems-based learning exercises required for training ophthalmology residents. Furthermore, this information could also be useful when decisions regarding healthcare delivery and expansion of hospital services need to be made.
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