Referral pathways and management of contact lens-related microbial keratitis in Australia and New Zealand

Keay, Lisa, Edwards, Katie P., & Stapleton, Fiona (2008) Referral pathways and management of contact lens-related microbial keratitis in Australia and New Zealand. Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology, 36(3), pp. 209-216.

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We examine the referral pathways and treatment for contact lens-related microbial keratitis in Australia and New Zealand. METHODS: Cases were reported in May 2003-September 2004; data on presentation, referral and treatment collected from practitioners and via patient interview. Severity was graded, 1-week cure rate estimated, delays in treatment and medications documented. Hospital and private clinic managements were compared. RESULTS: A total of 297 eligible cases were reported; detailed information on treatment and referral pathways was available on a subset of these cases. Presentation was to optometrists (81/200, 41%), general practitioners (GPs) (69/200, 34%) or emergency departments (46/200, 23%). Optometrists referred to private ophthalmologists (47/79, 60%) more often than hospitals (27/79, 34%). GPs initiated treatment (39/68, 57%) but also referred to hospitals (22/68, 32%) and to private ophthalmologists (7/68, 10%). Of all cases, 67% (195/297) were managed in hospitals (29% admitted, 87/297). Hospitalized cases were predominantly managed with fortified aminoglycoside/cephalosporin (66/81, 82%) and others fluoroquinolones (168/195, 86%). Steroids were used in 36% (98/276) commencing on day 5 (median, interquartile range = 3-7). One-week cure rate was 60% (49/82) in private clinics, 72% (62/86) for hospital outpatient cases and 37% (25/67, P < 0.001) for inpatient cases, which were more severe diseases (47%, 52% and 0% mild, respectively). Delays (>/=12 h) receiving therapy were experienced by 33% (55/168) because of initial inappropriate treatment (48/55), time delays (7/55) but not remoteness (P = 0.6). CONCLUSIONS: The majority of treatment is via hospital clinics, but milder disease is managed in private clinics. The referral process via optometrists, GPs and emergency departments is generally efficient; however, one-third of cases experienced some delays before receiving appropriate therapy highlighting the need for timely diagnosis.

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ID Code: 20548
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Accession Number: 18412588 Language: English. Date Created: 20080416. Date Completed: 20080515. Update Code: 20081217. Publication Type: Journal Article. Journal ID: 100896531. Publication Model: Print. Cited Medium: Internet. NLM ISO Abbr: Clin. Experiment. Ophthalmol.. Comment in: Clin Experiment Ophthalmol. 2008 Apr;36(3):204-5. (PMID: 18412586).
Keywords: referral and consultation, contact lenses adverse effects, keratitis microbiology & therapy, adolescent, adult, ambulatory care, Australia, emergency medical services, family practice, health services accessibility, hospitalization, humans, middle aged, New Zealand, optometry, pilot projects, time factors
DOI: 10.1111/j.1442-9071.2008.01722.x
ISSN: 1442-9071
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OPTOMETRY AND OPHTHALMOLOGY (111300)
Divisions: Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Blackwell
Deposited On: 21 May 2009 01:02
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 17:36

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