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Invited Commentary
October 10, 2019

A Vision for the Future of Pediatric Firearm-Related Ocular Trauma

Author Affiliations
  • 1Johns Hopkins Surgery Center for Outcomes Research, Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 2Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 3Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2019;137(12):1371-1372. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2019.3587

Firearm injuries are a public health crisis in the United States. The mainstream media highlights the senseless mass shootings that continue to happen, yet that is just the tip of the iceberg. The lack of federal dollars appropriated to this epidemic over the past 25 years has limited the ability of researchers to develop data-driven solutions at a level commensurate with the burden of injury. In this issue of JAMA Ophthalmology, Weiss et al1 report on pediatric patients with firearm-related ocular injuries (FOIs), a group of patients for whom the effect of vision loss is particularly devastating. Using National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB) records from 2008 to 2014, the authors found that almost a quarter of all FOIs occurred in the pediatric population, mostly in boys and adolescents. More than half were associated with traumatic brain injury and 12% of the injuries resulted in death. Injuries among black individuals were more likely due to assault, whereas injuries among white individuals were more likely self-inflicted.

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