May 10, 2017 (Jian Yang) One of the more enjoyable and challenging parts of our trips are the clinical work we do out in the field. We typically join a team of residents and junior faculty from the SPPH ophthalmology department and take a small bus out to a remote area - called a village here in China - but often the population of these villages rival Oklahoma City's. There is typically a county level hospital that assists in planning the vision screening clinic and these are set up outdoors under a canopy or tent. Several hundred people typically show up and after vision tests are done, they queue up and are each evaluated. There are tables set up and we pair one Chinese doctor with each one of our team and we spend time working with them on each patient, highlighting history taking, examination skills and reviewing findings. The patients are then directed to care as needed - some of them can get local care, some will need to make it to SPPH clinics in Chengdu, so that is arranged.
In Jian Yang, we had one slit lamp and one indirect ophthlamoscope to do the more thorough exam, so
The screening clinic was run outdoors under the canopy.
efficient triaging of cases is important. It is challenging, because there is a lot of advanced pathology we see, along with some people with minor complaints. We work hard to address everything we can in the time we have. We saw 210 patients - a significant of cataract blindness, but mixed in with many other advanced conditions that needed treatment - trachoma with cicatricial entropions, advanced retinal vascular disease (bilateral retinal vein occlusions in a young hypertensive), retinitis pigmentosa, congenital eye diseases and plenty of myopic degeneration. Always followed by a great and diverse meal, then lectures for the hospital staff. Our focus this year was more eye care for primary care physicians and nursing staff. Dr. Collinge presented how to assess vision in children, including audience participation in skills transfer, and Dr. Chen presented the basics of cataract and cataract surgery.
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