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2.08 Subconjunctival Hemorrhage


This condition may be spontaneous or follow a minor trauma, coughing episode, vomiting, or drinking binge. There is no pain or visual loss, but the patient may be frightened by the appearance of his eye and have some sensation of superficial fullness or discomfort. Often it is a friend or family member that insists the patient should be seen in the ED. This hemorrhage usually appears as a bright red area covering part of the sclera, but contained by conjunctiva. It may cover the whole visible globe, sparing only the cornea.

What to do:

What not to do:


Although this looks serious, it is usually caused by a leak in a superficial blood vessel from trivial rauma. Recurrent hemorrhage or evidence of other bleeding sites, however, should prompt evaluation of a vasculitis or clotting disorder.

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from Buttaravoli & Stair: COMMON SIMPLE EMERGENCIES
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Craig Feied, MD
Mark Smith, MD
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