Dr. Brown has practiced medical optometry in a comanagement center and with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Huntsville, AL, for over 25 years. An adjunct associate professor with UAB, his publications and presentations have focused on the diagnosis and management of ocular disease. He has a special interest in complex corneal and anterior segment cases. He is working on a Masters in Clinical Leadership from Duke University School of Medicine.
Among the thoughts I’ve had since the Super Outbreak of tornadoes that hit Alabama on April 27, 2011, is this: if there’s not already an ICD-10 code for “Tornado-induced viral conjunctivitis, bilateral, initial encounter,” there probably should be.
The euphoria that comes with removing a corneal foreign body never fades. With a nod to Foreigner, whenever I pluck a painful piece of metal from a patient’s eye, “it feels like the first time” every time.
It’s an oft-repeated mantra among those of us who treat glaucoma: The goal of glaucoma therapy is to maintain adequate functional vision until the patient dies. Like a lot of mantras, we spout it almost glibly.
I couldn’t help but think about that turn-of-the-21st century vignette during the recent run-up to the October 1st implementation of ICD-10. I hereby boldly predict that by the time this column is published, the large majority of us will still be alive and in business.
Last month, I wrote about diagnosing my father-in-law’s branch retinal artery occlusion (BRAO) and then teaming up with a vascular surgeon for his subsequent carotid endarterectomy. After the successful “slam dunk” surgery, the nurse who discharged him advised him to “go to the ER” should he have any changes in vision, and in the process, dropped the ball.