Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
Home About us Editors Ahead of Print Current Issue Archives Search Instructions Subscribe Advertise Login 
Users online:2439   Print this pageEmail this pageSmall font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size   
Year : 2009  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 10-14

Management of ocular trauma in emergency (MOTE) trial: A pilot randomized double-blinded trial comparing topical amethocaine with saline in the outpatient management of corneal trauma

Department of Emergency Medicine, Mater Adults' Hospital, Raymond TCE, South Brisbane, 4101 Qld, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Joseph YS Ting
Department of Emergency Medicine, Mater Adults' Hospital, Raymond TCE, South Brisbane, 4101 Qld
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-2700.44676

Rights and Permissions

Background: It is unclear whether local anesthetic eye drops can be safely used for the topical anesthesia of patients with minor corneal injury who are discharged from the emergency department (ED). Objectives: To assess whether topical 0.4% amethocaine self-administered to a maximum recommended frequency of once every hour for 36-48 h is safe in the management of uncomplicated corneal injury in patients discharged from the ED. Patients and Methods: A pilot randomized double-blinded trial comparing topical 0.4% amethocaine with topical normal saline. Results: Forty-seven subjects were recruited, with 22 randomized to receive amethocaine and 25 to receive placebo (normal saline) . Baseline characteristics, including corneal injury type, were similar in both groups. There were no significant functional or clinical adverse sequelae in the majority of enrolled patients who could be contacted at 2 weeks (17/22 for amethocaine and 21/25 for placebo). Follow-up for the primary study outcome was suboptimal, with only 7/22 from the amethocaine group and 9/25 from the saline group presenting for 36-48 h review; there was a statistically nonsignificant trend for persistence of the corneal defect in the amethocaine group as compared with the saline group (2/7 and 1/9, respectively). Conclusion: Compared with saline drops, amethocaine eye drops are not definitely safe but they are effective for topical analgesia in minor corneal injury. Until further definitive studies, topical nonsteroidal agents or long-lasting artificial tears may be preferred for the topical analgesia of minor corneal injury. Return for corneal re-evaluation will necessarily remain suboptimal in an otherwise self-limiting condition, leading to a bias even if study recruitment is good.

Print this article     Email this article
 Next article
 Previous article
 Table of Contents

 Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
 Citation Manager
 Access Statistics
 Reader Comments
 Email Alert *
 Add to My List *
 * Requires registration (Free)

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded221    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 8    

Recommend this journal