Critical care medicine ocular emergency presentation: Can you see it?

Abstract

Introduction: Ocular emergencies are not a common presentation in the intensive care unit. Intensivists should have a broad differential for the “red eye” and involve ophthalmology appropriately for ocular emergencies.

Background: Ocular emergencies can lead to permanent vision loss if not identified in a timely fashion.

Case description: A patient with hyponatremia and bacteremia admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) developed an acute painful red eye. Physical exam findings and images are shared.

Conclusion: Due to an acute ocular emergency, this critically-ill patient required transfer to a higher level of care and subspecialty management.

Clinical significance: Education about ocular emergencies is provided for the intensivist; including diagnosis, management, and complications.

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