Corneal abrasion is a painful scrape on the superficial layer of the eye. It is the single most common type of postoperative ocular injury especially with general anesthesia (83%), accounting for 3% to 8% of anesthesia-related malpractice claims. The time it takes for the ophthalmologist to diagnose and initiate treatment is between 2 to 3 hours. After several occurrences, the ophthalmologist decided it is the responsibility of the anesthesia department to treat this condition. Problems and confusion arose when different methods were employed by the anesthesia team to treat the injury. The goal in developing an EBP guideline in management of corneal abrasions is to become familiar with the symptoms of the condition, standardizing the treatment process to prevent further complication. The methods utilized in meeting the goals of this project are: conducting literature review, creating EBP guidelines, auditing of time interval of treatment before and after implementation of guidelines, and evaluating staff satisfaction. Prior to implementing the guidelines, 90% of the patients had their corneal abrasion managed within 2 to 4 hours. After establishing the guidelines, 86% of the patients were managed within 15 to 30 minutes. One hundred percent of the nurses surveyed were satisfied with the guidelines for its consistency. Establishing an EBP guideline facilitates prompt treatment of corneal abrasions, promoting patient safety, and preventing further complications.
Mary Rachel Romero
Clinical Nurse IV, University of Colorado Hospital