Aim: To study the epidemiology of ocular injuries in patients with major trauma in the UK, determining the incidence and causes of ocular injuries, and their association with facial fractures.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of the Trauma Audit Research Network database from 1989 to 2004, looking at data from 39 073 patients with major trauma.
Results: Of the 39 073 patients with major trauma, 905 (2.3%) patients had associated ocular injuries and 4082 (10.4%) patients had a facial fracture (zygoma, orbit or maxilla). The risk of an eye injury for a patient with a facial fracture is 6.7 times as that for a patient with no facial fracture (95%, confidence interval 5.9 to 7.6). Of the patients with major trauma and an eye injury, 75.1% were men, and the median age was 31 years. 57.3% of ocular injuries were due to road traffic accidents (RTAs).
Conclusion: The incidence of ocular injuries in patients with major trauma is low, but considerable association was found between eye injuries and facial fractures. Young adults have the highest incidence of ocular injury. RTAs are the leading cause of ocular injuries in patients with major trauma. It is vital that all patients with major trauma are examined specifically for an ocular injury.
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Competing interests: None.
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