BLUNT OCULAR TRAUMA IN A 42 YEAR OLD WOMAN: THE IMPORTANCE OF PROMPT REFERRAL FROM PRIMARY HEALTHCARE SETTING IN MANAGEMENT– CASE REPORT
*Iyanam V. E., Udoh S. B. and Akpan S. I.
University of Uyo, Nigeria.
Trauma to the Eye and its adnaexae, especially blunt trauma is a common phenomenon associated with modern
urban living. It contributes significantly to blindness globally. Its management requires prompt referal to, and
evaluation by, the Ophthalmologist for definitive diagnosis and treatment if complications including blindness is to
be averted. We report a case of a 42 year old housewife who presented with pain, swelling, reduced and double
vision of the left eye and headache of six hours prior to presentation. These symptoms started when she was struct
on the left eye with a fisted right hand by a male neighbour during a duel. She had first presented to a chemist shop
and was given some over the counter medications including oral NSAID before presenting to the Primary Care
Physician. Brief examination showed a young woman in pain distress, restless, not pale, afebrile and nondehydrated.
Ocular examination revealed reduced Visual Acuity (VA) in the left eye, edematous and tender lid,
conjunctival injection, hazy cornea and hyphema, among other findings. After brief evaluation at the primary care
setting, she was quickly referred to Ophthalmologist who promptly evaluated and treated her with good outcome.
We recommend that blunt ocular trauma should be promptly referred from primary care setting to Ophthalmologist
for quick evaluation and definitive treatment so as to avert avoidable irreversible ocular morbidity.
Keywords: Ocular trauma, primary care, prompt referral, ophthalmologist.
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