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.