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BackgroundOne-fifth of patients with severe facial trauma suffer ophthalmic injury. Currently, patients presenting with mid-face injury to the emergency department (ED) undergo visual examination and then further assessment by ophthalmologists and with computed tomography (CT) scanning. The utility of the initial visual examination in the ED, performed by nonophthalmologists, remains unclear.ObjectiveWe aimed to objectively identify whether a more thorough initial visual assessment, performed by nonophthalmologists in the ED, was associated with improved ophthalmic outcomes.MethodsPatients (n = 100) were retrospectively recruited from a tertiary craniomaxillofacial center. Visual examinations performed in the ED were scored objectively and measured against defined management and prognostic outcomes.ResultsThere was no significant difference between more thorough initial visual examination and reduced time to ophthalmology assessment or reduced visual complications. There was no correlation between more comprehensive examination and incidence of CT scanning.ConclusionsWe identified no significant difference between a comprehensive visual examination performed by nonophthalmologists in the ED, and improved ophthalmic outcomes. Physicians assessing patients with mid-face trauma in the ED should rule out eye emergencies, including retrobulbar hemorrhage and penetrating globe injury, and initiate expeditious CT scan and assessment by specialist ophthalmologists.

Original publication




Journal article


The journal of emergency medicine

Publication Date





422 - 426


Department of Craniomaxillofacial Surgery, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, UK.


Humans, Facial Injuries, Eye Injuries, Tomography, X-Ray Computed, Trauma Severity Indices, Retrospective Studies, Ophthalmology, Adult, Aged, Middle Aged, Emergency Service, Hospital, Female, Male, Outcome Assessment, Health Care