Eye emergencies for the non-ophthalmologist

New for 2024

We are delighted to announce that this course will be taking place on Tuesday 12 March 2024 with a new format, including the option to attend in-person and to practice some key skills such as corneal foreign body removal.


Ophthalmological presentations account for a significant number of cases in both general practice and accident and emergency, and prompt identification and treatment can prevent irreversible sight loss.

The proportion of A&E attendances having eye problems may be as high as 6% in some settings. A&E practitioners have, however, not been confident with basic aspects of ophthalmic assessment (such as Visual Acuity measurement) and lacking in training and skills in emergency eye care with variable availability of slit lamps and training in their use (which may, or may not be deemed necessary).

Furthermore, there were an estimated 340 million GP consultations in 2012/13 and 1.5–2% of these were reported as eye related.

This course aims to give the non-ophthalmologist the knowledge, skills and confidence to evaluate and where appropriate to manage common ocular ophthalmology emergencies. 

You can hear more from Dr Gordon Hay, Director of Moorfields Emergency Department by watching the short video below:

Course Structure

This is a half day course which you will be able to attend either in-person or remotely via MS Teams. For those attending in-person there is the additional option to practice some key skills such as corneal foreign body removal and eye irrigation. The course will begin at 09:00, finishing at 12:30 if you will not be attending the practical session. For those opting to attend the practical session, lunch will be provided and the session will run from 13:30 to 14:45.

Please click here to view the draft programme

Learning outcomes
  • How to take an ophthalmic history and examine the eye
  • Diagnosing the acute red eye
  • Ocular trauma – treatment and management
  • Important red flags not to miss!
Featured Topics

Back to basics

  • Anatomy
  • Ophthalmic triage
  • Ophthalmic history taking
  • Testing visual acuity, colour vision and pupils examination
  • Clinical examination and the use of drops to evaluate the eye

The red eye

  • Chemical injuries
  • Foreign body removal
  • Corneal abrasions
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Acute angle closure

Ocular trauma

  • Orbital compartment syndrome
  • How to perform a lateral canthotomy/cantholysis
  • Orbital fractures
  • Lid lacerations
  • Periorbital cellulitis
Who is this course for?

This course is aimed at doctors, aspiring ophthalmologists, nurses, allied health professionals and students wishing to learn how to recognise, manage and treat acute ophthalmology presentations.

Benefits of Attending

This course will enable attendees to:

  • improve patient outcomes by enabling the clinician to recognise common ocular complaints and where appropriate to start treatment.
  • make appropriate and improved referrals to their local eye casualty departments
  • identify patients who need emergency management to preserve sight, and those who can be referred routinely to clinic
  • Improve practical skills in carrying out some emergency ophthalmic procedures such as corneal foreign body removal, chemical irrigation and lateral canthotomy
CPD Certification

CPD points and a certificate of attendance will be awarded at the end of the course.

The content of this course has been certified by The CPD Certification Service as conforming to continuing professional development principles.

The course carries 2.5 CPD hours.


Booking your place

To book your place on the course, please select the desired option (in-person or online) below.

If you would like to attend the optional in-person practical session, which will take place immediately following the course, please remember to also add that item to your cart. Please note that the number of places for this is limited to 20 people to ensure an adequate ratio of faculty to attendees to provide a good learning experience.

Next course date

The next course date is not yet confirmed. To be advised, please join the waiting list.

Start Date
Duration Half day

Course fees