Managing ocular emergencies is a critical component of emergency medicine and one in which a poor differential diagnosis or decision algorithm can lead to devastating permanent injuries in patients. Consider using the Eye Emergency Manual, a free mobile app available on iOS and Android, to help with difficult eye complaints.
The application's best feature is probably its diagnostic tree, which suggests a differential diagnosis based on a series of questions, starting with whether the predominant symptom is altered vision or a red eye. Answering the subsequent questions leads to differential diagnoses, each clickable to see detailed notes. Instead of the diagnostic tree, you can also pick a general category of complaints, such as acute visual disturbance, and review a wide differential diagnosis with associated images.
The app has excellent images, diagrams, diagnostic checklists, historical and physical exam findings, and a communication checklist of key things to know before calling the ophthalmologist. The treatment recommendations section is insufficient for most emergency physicians because the app was originally designed for triage, but the rest of the app is quite robust. Pediatric emergency physicians will love the pediatric filter, which eliminates conditions not found in infants.
The app has excellently detailed sections on proper eye examination techniques, including links to videos of proper slit lamp examination techniques and measurement of ocular pressure. The app also includes a section labeled “until proven otherwise” that reminds the user of key differential diagnoses to exclude for each complaint category.
This app is perfect for any EM resident or APP, and has enough depth to be useful even for seasoned emergency physicians.
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