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Vienna 2018 Delegate Registration Programme Exhibition Virtual Exhibition Satellites 2018 Survey


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Eye care in the intensive care unit: a study looking into corneal exposure awareness among healthcare professionals in intensive care

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Session Details

Session Title: Presented Poster Session: Training & Quality of Vision

Venue: Poster Village: Pod 3

First Author: : S.Verma UK

Co Author(s): :    J. Sawali   S. Wijetilleka   C. Gunasekera                 

Abstract Details


The prevalence of ophthalmic pathology on Intensive Care is not well reported, however, the commonest issues relate to; direct injury to the cornea, exposure keratopathy, chemosis, and microbial keratitis. Exposure keratopathy may be avoided with appropriate treatment of lagophthalmos and is usually the responsibility of the Intensive Care nurse. Recent guidelines published by the Royal College of Ophthalmologist and Intensive Care Society in the UK outline ophthalmic management in Intensive Care. The aim of this study to is to identify if Intensive Care nurses have sufficient knowledge and training in managing ophthalmic presentations on Intensive Care.


Intensive Care Unit, Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, Ipswich, UK.


A questionnaire was designed to assess the knowledge of nurses regarding: awareness of guidelines, identification of eye pathology, the management of exposure keratopathy and prior training received regarding ophthalmic care in Intensive Care. This was distributed in the Intensive Care unit. A number of individual interviews were also carried out on the above cohort. Responses were recorded from nursing staff and thematic analysis was performed to identify pertinent patterns across the dataset.


Responses were generated from 75% of nursing staff. The main themes identified were: the lack of formal training in ophthalmology amongst Intensive Care nurses, the lack of recognition and knowledge of ophthalmic complications in Intensive Care, lack of awareness of current guidelines and a desire for more post-graduate training in ophthalmic conditions in Intensive Care. Rarely nurses have contacted ophthalmologists for eye emergencies. However most nurses felt like they could administer ophthalmic medication confidently.


Knowledge regarding the ophthalmic complications in Intensive Care is poor amongst nursing staff. With an increasing demand for Intensive Care bed in the UK, the prevalence of eye related pathology is rising. Consideration of formal ophthalmology training in intensive nursing training may be warranted to prevent associated morbidity. This could be delivered by the local ophthalmology team. This study would be of interest to ophthalmologists working in a hospital setting.

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