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Saudi J Ophthalmol. 2017 Oct-Dec;31(4):243-246. doi: 10.1016/j.sjopt.2016.03.001. Epub 2016 Apr 1.

Patterns of ophthalmic emergencies presenting to a referral hospital in Medina City, Saudi Arabia.

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Ophthalmology Residency Training Program, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Department of Ophthalmology, Taibah University, Medina, Saudi Arabia.
Medical Intern, Saudi Arabia.
Ophthalmology Residency Training Program, Dammam, Saudi Arabia.
Ophthalmology Residency Training Program, Medina, Saudi Arabia.
Internal Medicine Residency Training Program, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.



Data are required on ophthalmic cases that present to the emergency eye clinics in Madinah, Saudi Arabia for proper allocation of healthcare resources.


To determine the frequency and various diagnoses of patients presenting to the A&E at Ohud Hospital, Madinah, Saudi Arabia.


Data was collected prospectively for all patients who presented to the A&E ophthalmology clinic from June 2014 to September 2014. The data was analyzed and presented using frequency of incidence and percentages. Chi-square tests were used to evaluate the diagnoses based on age, sex and nationality. P ≤ 0.05 indicated statistical significance.


The study sample included 868 patients. The male-to-female ratio was 1.1:1.0. The main age categories included patients ≥45 years of age (256 patients) and 251 patients between the ages of 15-30 years. Various types of Conjunctivitis was the most common diagnosis, reported in 282 patients (32.5%), and followed by dry eye syndrome in 156 (18%) patients. Nasolacrimal duct obstruction in 156 patients (18%). Eyelid infections were detected in 102 patients (12%), corneal abrasion in 102 patients (9.3%). Various eye traumas was diagnosed in 30 patients (3.5%), increased intraocular pressure (IOP) in 17 patients (2%), ruptured globe in 2 patients (0.2%) and various other non-emergency pathologies in the remaining eyes. There were no significant differences in patient's characteristics and categories of diagnoses.


Non-emergent ophthalmic cases were the most common reason for the ophthalmology emergency room visits. It was observed that most cases could be referred to outpatient departments and potentially be managed by primary healthcare providers. This would be more cost effective and will also allow for better management of vision threatening ocular emergencies.

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