The organisation of an ophthalmological service for diabetics in a teaching hospital.
The original publication is available at http://www.samj.org.za
A new system of ophthalmological evaluation of diabetic patients in a teaching hospital has been devised. All the patients attending the diabetic clinic were screened by ophthalmologists. Any patient with a problem was then referred to a diabetic ophthalmology clinic where a full evaluation was done and treatment given where necessary. In an 18-month period 1,015 new ophthalmological diabetic patients were screened. Of these patients 13.6% had background retinopathy, 8.4% pre-proliferative retinopathy and 3.4% proliferative retinopathy, while 8.6% had maculopathy. These results show that even in a teaching hospital a significant percentage of patients already have pre-proliferative or even proliferative retinopathy when seen by an ophthalmologist for the first time. The importance of organising an ophthalmological service for the diabetic patient is stressed.
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