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An Approach To:

Vol. 19 No. 2 (2021)

Approach to: Ocular trauma

October 2, 2020


Ocular trauma can be a common presentation in the emergency department. It is therefore important for a physician to be able to quickly recognize vision-threatening conditions and provide necessary medical management prior to consulting ophthalmology. This article describes the pertinent information that should be gathered during a focused ocular history in a patient with ocular injury, and also provides a systematic approach to evaluating ocular trauma. As an example, a case study of open globe injury is used to illustrate the appropriate pre-ophthalmologic management and common medical errors that must be avoided for a good prognosis. Additional ocular conditions such as traumatic hyphema, traumatic optic neuropathy, traumatic vitreous hemorrhage, orbital compartment syndrome, chemical burns, and eyelid lacerations are also described as differential diagnosis. Ultimately, the aim of this work is to provide medical students with a fundamental understanding in approaching ocular trauma in emergency clinics.


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