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Primary Care Liaison

Acute eye trauma

  • The following pre-referral guideline covers Acute eye trauma. Please see other ophthalmology guidelines as needed.

    See resources for referral form, parent information and more.

    Recommended pre-referral assessment / treatment

    1. For immediate management, please see the clinical practice guidelines for  Acute Eye Injuries in Children.
    2. See also Penetrating Eye Injury.
    3. Click here to access the Paediatric Pharmacopoeia.

    Initial findings and when to refer

    The following presentations all require immediate referral to the Emergency Department.  Please fax your referral to the ED fax 03 9345 6006 or send with child.

    Please also contact the on-call ophthalmology registrar/fellow via switchboard tel (03) 9345 5522.

    • Ruptured globe/ penetrating eye injury.
    • Presence of a foreign body.
    • Large hyphaemas (causing acute glaucoma).
    • Corneal burns, either chemical or thermal - alkalis penetrate deeper and have a greater potential for serious and delayed burns.
    • Contact lens related corneal infections (bacterial keratitis).
    • Retinal detachment.
    • Blunt trauma resulting in suspected globe fracture

    Contact information

    RCH Switchboardtelephone (03) 9345 5522

    For clinical advice ask for:

    • Ophthalmology registrar or fellow on-call
    • Department of Ophthalmology - clinical advice (or direct dial 03 9345 5630)
    • Emergency Department - for clinical advice after hours
    For outpatient bookings fax to 03 9345 5034 (number also on referral form)
    • For urgent OPD appointments also call 03 9345 6180
    • For referrals to the Emergency Department, please fax to 03 9345 6006

    Admission enquiries ask for:

    • General admission enquiries (or direct dial 03 9345 6172)
    • ED admission enquiries: (or direct dial 03 9345 6477)



    Paediatric Handbook (2009). Eye Conditions, Chapter 23 (pp357-368). James Elder and Peter Barnett. 8th Ed, Blackwell Publishing by the Staff of the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne. Australia.


    Please give feedback on this guideline - / telephone: (03) 9345 4645 / fax (03) 9345 4650

    Last updated

    Last update: August 2011

    Guideline developed by the RCH Department of Ophthalmology in consultation with a GP Review Group. Many thanks to the GPs involved in the review.  First published Dec 2007. Reviewed August 2009 and August 2011. Please read  Copyright and Disclaimer.