It started out as a simple accident.
A visitor to the hospital’s emergency department said she had gotten a nasty case of MRSA.
That’s a very serious infection that can cause inflammation in the eyes and eventually blindness.
“It just started to get worse,” said Dr. Karen Lohman, an eye surgeon at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Eye Hospital.
She says the patient’s eyes got red and swollen.
“They didn’t know what was happening,” Lohmans told CBC News.
“She was bleeding out.”
The patient needed urgent eye surgery, but Lohmann was overwhelmed by the volume of patients who came in for eye exams.
So she started looking into what to do with them.
“We had a really busy season,” Lihman said.
“And we just weren’t able to keep up.”
The number of patients coming in for emergency eye surgery skyrocketed.
In just the first four months of this year, the hospital saw about 300 patients come in for treatment of eye infections.
But it wasn’t enough.
So Lohmen began thinking about how she could help those patients in need of emergency eye care.
“I had just opened a pharmacy in my ward, and we had a lot of patients,” Luhmans said.
So when the hospital opened a new clinic in March, Lohmans saw an immediate spike in demand.
“The demand for our emergency eye office was just insane,” she said.
Lohmains emergency eye clinic is located in Sunnybrook’s Hospital of the Rockies.
It specializes in eye exams and treatments for MRSA, including cataract surgery and corneal transplants.
Patients come in with corneas infected with a strain of the bacteria that can lead to blindness.
The patient’s eye is then washed with antibacterial eye drops and replaced with a new corneocyte.
Luhmans has seen patients with cornea infections and is able to treat the corneosensory problems that result.
She sees patients from all over the country and even has a waiting list for her emergency eye surgeries.
But there are also plenty of problems plaguing her emergency department.
“A lot of people who come in are not being cared for very well,” Loughman said of the patients who come to her eye surgery clinic.
“One of my patients was just walking out of the clinic and he had cornea infections.
It was a very, very serious problem.”
Lohmeys emergency eye exam is done by an experienced nurse.
It’s not only for the eyes of patients with MRSA but also for those with corveitis, which is a condition that causes inflammation of the eyes.
Patients are then placed in a hospital room with antibiotics and cornea transplants that remove the infection and help the patient regain sight.
The nurses on staff at the Sunnybrook clinic are certified in emergency eye and cornet surgery, and they use an advanced digital medical imaging system.
They also use sophisticated software to monitor patient data and use that information to improve patient care.
But the problem is not limited to emergency eye patients.
Loughmans emergency eye facility is also used by patients from hospitals across the country who need cornea surgery or corneoplasty, a procedure that replaces the cornea with a synthetic artificial one.
But she said her patients are also getting cornea implants, sometimes in the form of cornea transplantation implants, that are not compatible with the artificial cornea.
Loughers emergency eye center in Winnipeg is also seeing an increase in patients.
“There are a lot more of them than we thought there were,” said nurse and emergency eye specialist Karen Sauer, who said the clinic’s demand is increasing rapidly.
Sauer said her department sees up to 200 patients a day and is getting a lot better at managing their needs.
But they also see patients from a wide variety of health conditions, including diabetic retinopathy, HIV, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
Sperling says it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the emergency department to meet its patients’ needs.
“You don’t always know what’s going on in the hospital,” she told CBC’s Manitoba Matters.
“So we don’t have enough resources for all those patients.”
Sperlings emergency eye centre in Winnipeg, which has a large number of emergency department patients, has been using a new digital medical scanner to improve the patient experience.
“When we’ve got a patient that’s coming in and we don.t have the resources to give them an eye exam, we’re not able to provide that,” Sperls said.
And the hospital isn’t even getting the equipment that it needs.
The department also doesn’t have the capacity to monitor the patients’ health and other medical conditions.
“If there are certain conditions that are going to need a different kind of surgery or treatment, that’s a lot less expensive to do,” Sauer added. But