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Management of eye emergencies in the accident and emergency department by senior house officers: a national survey.
  1. M M Tan,
  2. P A Driscoll,
  3. J E Marsden
  1. Department of Emergency Medicine, Hope Hospital, Salford.


    OBJECTIVE: To assess the training that accident and emergency (A&E) senior house officers (SHOs) receive in dealing with eye emergencies, their own perceived level of confidence and competence in managing such cases, and the availability of appropriate equipment in their departments. METHODS: Prospective telephone survey using a standardised structured questionnaire. One SHO from each United Kingdom A&E department listed in the BAEM directory of 1993 was chosen at random and interviewed. RESULTS: 226 A&E departments were contacted and 192 SHOs were successfully interviewed (response rate 84.9%); 26.0% received no training in the management of eye emergencies, 68.8% had only a little or no confidence in dealing with these cases, and 42.2% worked in A&E departments which had no slit lamp. CONCLUSIONS: There is a lack of adequate basic ophthalmic training for A&E SHOs, leading to a lack of confidence on their part in the management of eye emergencies. In just over 40% of A&E departments in the United Kingdom, the management of these cases may be less than optimal because of the absence of a slit lamp.

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