Characteristics of ocular trauma in the United States

Catherine H. He, David M. Poulsen, Afshin Parsikia, Joyce N. Mbekeani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: We aimed to study the characteristics of ocular trauma, an important but largely preventable global cause of blindness, in the United States. Methods: Retrospective chart review of the National Trauma Data Bank (2008-2014) was performed. All patients with ocular trauma were identified using ICD-9CM codes. The collected data were statistically analyzed with student’s t-test, Chi-squared test, and logistic regression analysis performed using the SPSS software. The significance was set at p<0.05. Results: It was found that 316,485 (5.93%) of the 5,336,575 admitted trauma patients had ocular injuries. Their mean (SD) age was 41.8 (23) years, and most of them were men (69.4%). Race/ethnicity distribution was White 66.1%, Black 15.1%, and Hispanic 12.3%. The common injuries were orbital 39.5% and eye/adnexa contusions 34%. Associated traumatic brain injury was present in 58.2%. The frequent mechanisms were falls 25.5%, motor vehicle accident–occupant 21.8%, and struck by/against 17.6%. Patients <21 years of age had higher odds of cut/pierce injuries (OR=3.29, 95%CI=3.07-3.51) than the other age groups, those aged 21-64 years had higher odds of motor vehicle accident-cyclist (OR=4.95, 95%CI=4.71-5.19), and those >65 years had higher odds of falls (OR=16.75, 95%CI=16.39-17.12); p<0.001. The Blacks had a greater likelihood of firearm injuries (OR=3.24, 95%CI=3.10-3.39) than the other racial/ethnic groups, the Hispanics experienced more of cut/pierce injuries (OR=2.01, 95%CI=1.85-2.18), and the Whites experienced more of falls (OR=2.3, 95%CI=2.3-2.4); p<0.001. The Blacks (OR=3.41, 95%CI=3.34-3.48) and Hispanics (OR=1.75, 95%CI=1.71-1.79) mostly suffered assaults, while the Whites suffered unintentional injuries (OR=2.78 95%CI=2.74-2.84); p<0.001. Optic nerve/ visual pathway injuries had the greatest association with very severe injury severity scores (OR=3.27, 95%CI=3.05-3.49) and severe Glasgow Coma Scores (OR=3.30, 95%CI=3.08-3.54); p<0.001. The mortality rate was 3.9%. Conclusions: Male preponderance and falls, motor vehicle accident-occupant, and struck by/against mechanisms agree with the previous reports. The identified demographic patterns underscore the need to develop group-specific preventive measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-248
Number of pages9
JournalArquivos Brasileiros de Oftalmologia
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022


  • Blindness/prevention & control
  • Cegueira/prevenção & controle
  • Estados Unidos/epidemiologia
  • Eye injuries
  • Traumatismo ocular
  • United Sates/epidemiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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