NursingSKL clinical tip
In any patient with visual loss it is imperative to ask two questions.
In this particular patient, a dilated examination showed that the patient had significant areas of retinal “cloudy swelling” (this is what ophthalmologists call retinal whitening and it is due to thickening of the superficial axons of the retina). Retinal cloudy swelling is indicative of retinal artery ischemia. This patient was also noted to have some thinning of the retinal artery (the normal vein to artery ratio is typically 3:2). A chalky-white embolus was noted at the level of the central retinal artery as it exited the optic nerve. The patient was diagnosed with a retinal artery occlusion.
In this video, you will learn the four questions that every nurse needs to ask every patient with acute visual loss (and one is linked to a potentially lethal condition!).