Ocular trauma: at the sharp end

28 October 2020
Autumn 2020

A&E optometrists can see everything from DIY mishaps to domestic violence in a day's work, writes Steve Smethurst.

Managing ocular trauma isn’t for the faint-hearted. If someone microwaves an egg that explodes in their face, for example, it will likely damage most of the corneal epithelium and you’ll need tweezers to pick shell fragments from their conjunctiva and eyelid. 

“The most memorable cases are all quite horrible,” says Gordon Hay, Service Director for Emergency Services at Moorfields Eye Hospital. “We’ve had patients who checked why a nail gun wasn’t working by looking at the firing end, spiky toys in children, motorbike accidents and even the misfiring of an airbag while a mechanic was repairing it.”

Moorfields has recently increased the number of optometrists working in its emergency and urgent care facilities. Each session now has at least one optometrist, and A&E has 12 in total. 

Sign in to continue

Forgotten password?
Register

Not already a member of The College?

Start enjoying the benefits of College membership today. Take a look at what the College can offer you and view our membership categories and rates.

Related further reading

We have a number of therapeutic points available to IP members struggling to cover their competencies by the end of this year.

The College has been working with the GOC on enabling IP optometrists to qualify despite the challenges of accessing appropriate clinical experience.