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Saudi Med J. 2011 Dec;32(12):1256-60.

One month outcome of ocular related emergencies in a tertiary hospital in Central Saudi Arabia.

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Department of Ophthalmology, King Abdulaziz University Hospital, College of Medicine, King Saud University, King Abdulaziz Road, PO Box 245, Riyadh 11411, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.



To investigate the number and characteristics of patients attending the Accident/Emergency (A/E) Department of a tertiary care hospital in Riyadh, and to determine their route of referral, and pattern of ocular emergency cases.


A retrospective study was carried out using the records and history of all patients attending the A/E at King Abdulaziz University Hospital (KAUH) in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in July 2010. Data collected included time of arrival, age, gender, source of referral, principal diagnosis, attending doctor, action taken, and discharge plan.


A total of 1,412 patients were recruited in our study with an average daily attendance of 47 patients. A total of 863 (61%) patients were male, and their mean age was 28.2 years. The most frequent diagnosis in patients was trauma (382, 27%), followed by conjunctivitis (211, 14.9%), lids and lacrimal system (133, 9.4%), retina problems (51, 3.6%), glaucoma (30, 2.1%), neuro-ophthalmology (22, 1.6%), keratitis (20, 1.4%), uveitis (10, 0.7%), and episcleritis (5, 0.35%). Most cases (77.5%) seen were self-referrals. Additionally, 712 (50.4%) of cases were considered as non-emergency, which are visiting the A/E for dry eye, chalazion, blepharitis, and allergy.


Most cases seen at our ophthalmic A/E had non-urgent conditions that could be managed satisfactorily by trained ophthalmic assistants under supervision of an ophthalmologist.

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