How would you deal with a drunk patient?

30 April 2020
Spring 2020

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

Hassnain Safdar MCOptom

Locum Optometrist, Leicester, and College Councillor for East Midlands

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!

Sign in to continue

Forgotten password?

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

This year's National Eye Health Week will take place from 18 to 24 September 2023, promoting the importance of good eye health and the need for regular sight tests for all.

The Cochrane systematic review consisted of 17 randomised controlled trials that recruited 619 people.

This article describes sleep and its regulation, and the specific contribution of the eye.