Changing Trends in Eye-Related Complaints Presenting to the Emergency Department in Beirut, Lebanon, over 15 Years.
Salti HI, Mehanna CJ, Abiad B, Ghazi N, Raad S, Barikian A, Haddad R, Ashkar A, Harmouche E, Zaghrini E, and Mufarrij A. Changing trends in eye-related complaints presenting to the emergency department in Beirut, Lebanon, over 15 years. J Ophthalmol 2018; 2018:4739865.
Objective: To report the 15-year trend in ophthalmic presentations to the emergency department (ED) at the only medical center in Lebanon that provides 24-hour ophthalmologic care.
Methods: Retrospective review of 1967 patients presenting to the ED with eye-related complaints between September 1997 and August 1998 and between September 2012 and August 2013. Diagnoses were classified into 4 categories according to the International Society of Ocular Trauma and include penetrating eye injuries, nonpenetrating eye trauma, nontraumatic ophthalmic emergencies, and nontraumatic, nonurgent ophthalmic conditions.
Results: One thousand sixty eye-related presentations out of 39,158 total ED visits (2.71%) presented in 1997 compared to 907 out of 46,363 in 2012 (1.96%). Penetrating and nonpenetrating eye emergencies decreased between 1997 and 2012 (7.17% to 4.19%,
Conclusion: Our results demonstrate a significant increase in nonurgent cases in parallel with the proportion of third-party payers, an issue to be addressed by public health policies and proper resource allocation. A detailed nationwide review is needed to make solid recommendations for the management of ophthalmologic presentations in the ED.