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The organization of an ophthalmological service for diabetics in a teaching hospital

, : The organization of an ophthalmological service for diabetics in a teaching hospital. South African Medical Journal 72(12): 861-862

A new system of opthalmological 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 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 ophthalmologists for the first time. The importance of organizing an opthalmological service for the diabetic patient is stressed.

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