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Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2007 Jun;62(3):301-8.

Ophthalmology emergency room at the University of São Paulo General Hospital: a tertiary hospital providing primary and secondary level care.

Author information

1
University of the São Paulo Medical School General Hospital, São Paulo, SP, Brazil. regina-sc@uol.com.br

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the need for emergency care in a tertiary hospital, in the Ophthalmology Emergency Room of the University of the São Paulo Medical School General Hospital.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A cross-sectional analytic study of the treatment complexity level was carried out in a readily available sample, n = 574, of patients seen at the Ophthalmology Emergency Room of the University of São Paulo Medical School General Hospital, during a typical week.

RESULTS:

Of the 574 treated patients, 69.0% of the cases were diagnosed as requiring a simple treatment for their problem. The most frequent diagnoses were related to ocular inflammation and infection (55.0%), mainly including conjunctivitis (29.4%) and eyelid inflammations (10.5%). Next in frequency were ocular trauma (19.2%), particularly foreign bodies on the cornea (7.5%) and blunt trauma (5.2%). Refractive errors (3.1%) was the most prevalent diagnosis in the "other ocular modifications" category.

CONCLUSION:

Most of the cases (69.0%) treated at the Ophthalmology Emergency Room of the University of São Paulo Medical School General Hospital could have been diagnosed and treated in primary or secondary care units. Also, the fact that return visits to check recovery are seen in the ER demonstrates the lack of referral services. The fact that patients come to a tertiary hospital with rather simple cases shows the poor structure of the Brazilian Public Healthcare System, which overloads the tertiary care facilities, where costs for human resources, materials, and other items are higher.

PMID:
17589671
DOI:
10.1590/s1807-59322007000300015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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