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Burden of Ocular Trauma Quantified for 2010 to 2019

Average change found of −6.9 percent in eye injury cases from kinetic impact projectile, personal protective device

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FRIDAY, Oct. 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- From 2010 to 2019, there was a decrease seen in the number of cases of ocular injury associated with chemical irritants and kinetic impact projectiles, according to a research letter published online Oct. 29 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

William R. Bloom, from the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago, and Thomas D. Bloom, M.D., from Madison Medical Eye Care in Milwaukee, collected epidemiologic data to examine the ocular trauma burden in emergency departments associated with chemical irritants and kinetic impact projectiles. The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) database was queried from Jan. 1, 2010, to Dec. 31, 2019, to identify eye injuries.

The researchers identified 1,183 eye injuries caused by kinetic impact projectiles and personal protective devices (PPDs) in the NEISS database, which corresponded with a weighted national estimate of 36,585 cases of ocular trauma during the study period. From 2010 to 2019, there was an average annual percentage change noted of −6.9 percent. Of the 1,183 eye injuries, 585 were excluded, and 598 emergency department cases remained. Most of the patients were examined, treated, and released. Compared with patients with PPD-related injuries, projectile-injured patients were transferred to another facility or admitted more often (7.2 versus 0.5 percent).

"Protestors or others in an environment where such crowd control measures may be used should not dismiss these potential dangers," the authors write. "Protective eyewear may mitigate the risk of eye injury."

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