How would you deal with a drunk patient?

In each issue, Acuity poses a topical question to a panel of members.

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It can often be an awkward conversation having to stop a sight test because a patient is drunk, especially in routine community practice. Fortunately, this has only happened to me once. I remained calm and informed the patient that it would be in their best interest for me to see them another day when they were sober. I found it was best not to beat around the bush and told them directly (in a light-hearted manner) that I know they’ve had “a few too many”. This made the patient feel at ease and didn’t cause too much of a commotion... thankfully!

Hassnain Safdar MCOptom Locum Optometrist, Leicester, and College Councillor for East Midlands


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