Panel Focuses on Guidelines for Treament of Eye Injuries in the Wilderness

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The Wilderness Medical Society recently published an evidence-based set of guidelines for the recognition and treatment of eye injuries and illnesses that may occur in the wilderness. These guidelines are meant to serve as a tool to help wilderness providers accurately identify and subsequently treat or evacuate for a variety of ophthalmologic complaints.

Foreign body in eye.

No one really knows how many eye injuries are treated in the wilderness, though we do know that about 3% of emergency departments visits are for eye complaints.

Eye problems in the wilderness represent an especially diverse and challenging group of eye injuries and illnesses. Limited medication, and lack of proper equipment and medication are some of those challenges. Most wilderness practitioners or expedition doctors are not specially trained in ophthalmology. The Wilderness Medical Society recently published new guidelines for the treatment of eye injuries in the wilderness in their journal Wilderness & Environmental Medicine. The authors believe that with the proper tools and physical examination skills, most providers can determine the need for further intervention or evacuation in cases of ocular pathology in the wilderness.

The full-text online article, with free public access, is available online now. Wilderness & Environmental Medicine is published by Elsevier Inc., for the Wilderness Medical Society, Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Wilderness Medical Society (WMS), a 501(c)3 organization, is the world's leading organization devoted to wilderness medical challenges. Wilderness medicine topics include expedition and disaster medicine, dive medicine, search and rescue, altitude illness, cold- and heat-related illness, wilderness trauma, lightning injuries, submersion injuries, envenomation, and wild animal attacks.

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Loren Greenway, PhD, CEO
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