Changing Patterns of Eye Casualty Presentations over a 24 Year Period

Kumaran N, Rodrigues IAS, Ladas D, Symes RJ

Background: Advancements in Ophthalmology over the last 30 years has led to marked changes in ophthalmic practice. In this study we aim to identify any changes in case mix and volume in a specialist Ophthalmology Accident and Emergency department by comparing attendances 24 years apart. Methods: A retrospective analysis of 675 consecutive emergency patient attendances at the Sussex Eye Hospital, Brighton, UK was conducted, comparing data from 1987 and 2011. Results: A statistically significant (p<0.05) increase was noted in patients presenting with non-penetrating trauma, inflammatory conditions, lacrimal disorders, Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD) and benign floaters, post ophthalmic procedure and other diagnoses. A statistically significant rise in the average number of patients seen per day, from 22.1 to 35.3 (p<0.05) was also found. Correspondence regarding the patient visit was more likely to be sent to the patientís general practitioner in 2011. Conclusions: A significant rise in the rate of attendances and marked shift in diagnoses was observed over the 24 year period. This data highlights the increasing need for specialist ophthalmic emergency care and can be utilized to determine future workforce planning and allocation of resources.

 
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