Acute Ocular Injuries in Children are Declining Overall, but …

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Acute ocular injuries in the pediatric population are declining but still remain prevalent, according to retrospective cohort study involving >340,000 children. 

Investigators looked at demographic and clinical factors of children in the cohort who presented to the emergency department with acute traumatic ocular injuries between 2006 and 2014 (corresponding to >3.5 million such admissions nationwide during that time). Specifically, they analyzed ocular injury incidence by age, risk of vision loss, and mechanism of injury. Among the results: 

  • >163,000 ED visits for pediatric ocular injury were estimated to occur in 2014. 
  • Nearly two-thirds of the injured were male.
  • >One-third were between birth and 4 years of age; 21% were between 10 and 14 years of age. 
  • Nearly one-fourth of the injuries involved a strike to the eye. The adnexa were impacted in 44% of the cases.
  • Only 1% suffered high-risk injury.
  • Injuries declined by 26% between 2006 and 2014.
  • Most of the decrease in high-risk injuries occurred with motor vehicle crashes and guns.
  • Increases were seen in sports- and household/domestic-related activities. 

Matsa E, Shi J, Wheeler K, McCarthy T, McGregor M, Leonard J.  Trends in US emergency department visits for pediatric acute ocular injury. [Published online ahead of print June 7, 2018]. JAMA Ophthalmol. doi:


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