Integration of ophthalmology in ocular trauma to improve patient care: a narrative review

Christopher Bartimote*, Clare L. Fraser, Stephanie Watson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: Ocular trauma can cause significant morbidity and is a leading cause of unilateral blindness. In multi-trauma, life- and sight-threatening injuries can co-occur causing increased complexity in the assessment and management of ocular injuries as the competing priorities in the severely injured must be balanced. We conducted a narrative review to determine how ophthalmology may be further integrated into a trauma service and/or the organisation of an ocular trauma service. Methods: The literature was reviewed via EMBASE, MEDLINE, CINAHL and Google Scholar utilising comprehensive search strategies and keyword searches. Our review was conducted in compliance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement. Results: The search yielded 437 articles, 30 studies met selection criteria and were included in the review. The included literature comprised guidelines, observational studies and reviews of registry data from Australia, England, the United States, Singapore, Iran and Israel. Conclusion: The Australian Trauma Model has clear guidelines for referral of trauma patients to ensure appropriate care of the severely injured. However, there are no clear guidelines for the integration of ophthalmology into trauma. Therefore, early referral to ophthalmology and streamlining of referral pathways of specialist care would improve the care of patients with ocular trauma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-13
Number of pages11
JournalTrauma (United Kingdom)
Issue number1
Early online date12 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • eye injury
  • Ocular trauma
  • ophthalmology
  • trauma
  • trauma service
  • traumatic injury


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