Anterior Segment

Interprofessional collaboration needed to improve triage of eye conditions in the emergency department

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Emergency department practitioners are not often able to gather ocular vital signs in patients presenting with ocular conditions leading to a need for the creation of algorithms to help with the triage and management of eye conditions, according to a study.

In a retrospective study, the charts of patients who visited the emergency department and had an ophthalmology consult, were included. Uveitis, corneal abrasion, corneal ulcer, meibomian gland dysfunction/dry eyes/blepharitis/punctate epithelial erosions, and conjunctivitis/epidemic keratoconjunctivitis, were the most common anterior segment diagnoses.

Emergency department personnel and ophthalmologists measured visual acuity in 40.8% and 78.4% of patients, respectively, and intraocular pressure (IOP) in 40.8% and 95.1% of patients, respectively.

Visual acuity agreement between ophthalmology and the emergency department was 11.8%, whereas the IOP agreement was 0.86%.

The percentage agreement in diagnosis between ophthalmology and the emergency department was 49.4%.


Tang VD, Safi M, Mahavongtrakul A, et al. Ocular Anterior Segment Pathology in the Emergency Department: A 5-Year Study [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jun 15]. Eye Contact Lens. 2020;10.1097/ICL.0000000000000720. doi:10.1097/ICL.0000000000000720

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