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Mechanical injuries of the eyeball: Frequency, structure, and possibility of the prevention

Author(s): Jovanović Miloš

Journal: Srpski Arhiv za Celokupno Lekarstvo
ISSN 0370-8179

Volume: 134;
Issue: 1-2;
Start page: 11;
Date: 2006;
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Keywords: mechanical injuries | frequency | structure | prevention

Introduction. Some factors significant for development of mechanical injuries of the eyeball have been analyzed in the study. Objective. Basic objective of such analysis was prevention and reduction of these injuries. Method. Mechanical injuries of the eyeball in patients hospitalized at the Institute of Eye Disease, CCS in Belgrade, in five year period have been analyzed. Only patients with severe eye injuries were hospitalized. The following parameters were analyzed: sex, age, occupation of patients, residence, time of the inflicted injury, i.e. by months in a year, days in a week and hours in a day, place and way of inflicting the injury as well as visual acuity on admission. In addition, the type of injury was analyzed, i.e. contusion or penetrating with all resulting complications. Finally, the timing of primary surgical management of the eye injury was specified, if required. Results. A total number of hospitalized patients with mechanical eye injuries was 1642 during the last five years, meaning that one injury occurred daily. There were 1381 males and 261 females, meaning that males were 5.3 times more the victims of mechanical eye injuries. Out of all the injured, 861 (52.4%) were from rural environment, while 781 (47.6%) were urban population. The proportion of injuries of the right or the left eye was nearly equal, while both eyes were simultaneously injured in 21 (1.3%) cases. The injuries were inflicted in all ages, but most frequently in working population ranging from 16 to 55 years, accounting for 60.8%. Unfortunately, a lot of the injured were children up to 15 years of age - 19.4%. The most commonly injured were workers - 39.8%, followed by students - 17.5%. A piece of wood was the cause of injury in 21.8%, sharp and pointed objects in 17.2%, hammer and metal in 14.2%, glass in 11.6%, and other different causes in varying percentage. There were also rare causes of injuries, such as those caused by zip, dog bite, rooster’s bill, etc. According to months in a year and days in a week, the injuries were almost evenly distributed. Considering the period of a day, even 77.4% of the injuries occurred during daytime, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The highest percentage - 43.5% - of the injuries occurred while working something out of working place, while 24.5% of injuries were inflicted at working places. On admission, the majority of patients - 32.9% had visual acuity L+P+, but this visual acuity ranged from amaurosis to 1.0. There were 746 (45.4%) contusion injuries and 870 (53.0%) penetrating injuries. The rest were the injuries of other ocular adnexa. The majority of primary wound managements were performed in the first 24 hours of the injury - 67.1%. Conclusion. It may be concluded that working population and students are most commonly injured, and that men are five times more frequently injured than women; then, a piece of wood, sharp objects and glass are the most often causes of injury; the number of contusion and penetrating injuries is equal, and that required primary surgical wound management is most often performed in the first 24 hours from the injury. Further analysis of these factors suggests that many of these injuries could have been prevented, and consequently long-term treatment and treatment costs could have been evaded. Most important is that permanent disability due to visual impairment or even blindness of the injured eye could have been avoided.
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