Assessing an Exposure Keratopathy Prevention Strategy in Mechanically Ventilated Patients: A Retrospective Study

Ayobami Adebayo, Jenna Tauber, Jennifer Tingley, Lewis A. Eisen, Jee Young Moon, Jamie B. Rosenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Patients who are intubated and sedated are at risk for developing exposure keratopathy, which can lead to permanent vision loss. This retrospective study assesses the incidence of exposure keratopathy (EK) in intensive care unit (ICU) patients before and after implementation of an EK Prevention Order Set. Methods: At one tertiary care hospital (Bronx, NY), an “Exposure Keratopathy Prevention Order Set” was implemented to ameliorate this risk which included the application of white petrolatum–mineral oil lubricating ointment every 6 hours in both eyes. This retrospective chart review study analyzed the incidence of EK diagnosis before and after implementation of this EK Prevention Order Set. Patients who were on mechanical ventilation at the time of ophthalmology consult request between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021, were included. Ophthalmology consult notes of patients with EK diagnosis were reviewed for details regarding the consult request, examination findings, diagnosis, and treatment plan. Results: There were 247 and 361 ventilated ICU patients before and after the order set, respectively. The number of ophthalmology consults decreased slightly after the order set from 15 of 247 to 20 of 361 ventilated patients. In addition, the rate of EK among ventilated patients decreased from 4.5% (11 of 247 patients over 151 days) to 2.2% (8 of 361 patients over 212 days; P¼0.154) with a risk ratio of 0.50 (95% CI 0.20–1.22). Conclusion: The number of patients diagnosed with EK trended down after implementation of the EK Prevention Order Set.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-72
Number of pages3
JournalEye and Contact Lens
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2024


  • Intubation
  • Keratopathy
  • Ointment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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