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Article
June 1992

Penetrating Eye Injuries Related to AssaultThe National Eye Trauma System Registry

Author Affiliations

From the Injury Prevention Center, Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health (Drs Dannenberg and Fowler), and the Wilmer Eye Institute, The Johns Hopkins University (Dr Parver), Baltimore, Md.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1992;110(6):849-852. doi:10.1001/archopht.1992.01080180121039
Abstract

• From 1985 to 1991, 648 cases of assault-related penetrating ocular injury were reported to the National Eye Trauma System Registry. We examined the circumstances surrounding and initial clinical findings related to this case series of injuries. Eighty-three percent of the patients were male. The median age was 28 years; 77% were younger than age 40 years, and 17% were younger than age 20 years. The ocular injury was part of multiple trauma in 34% of cases. There was evidence of alcohol and illicit drug use by at least 48% and 6% of the injured persons, respectively. Seventeen percent of the injuries involved powder or nonpowder firearms. Fists, glass fragments, metal rods or pipes, knives, and scissors were among the other objects causing injury. Posterior segment trauma, which occurred in 70% of cases, included vitreous hemorrhage (40% of cases), retinal detachment (11%), presence of intraocular foreign bodies (6%), and optic nerve damage (4%). The initial visual acuity after injury was hand motion or worse in 74% of the cases. Strategies to prevent such injuries focus on the origins of violence in general and are more difficult to devise than strategies to prevent eye injuries in other settings. Public health efforts to reduce the use of alcohol, drugs, and firearms may reduce the incidence of these injuries.

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