Objective: To assess the epidemiology of ocular trauma in adult patients admitted to the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), Jamaica, between January 2000 and December 2005.
Methods: Retrospective review of all adult patients admitted with ocular trauma in the UHWI trauma database.
Results: Three hundred and ninety-seven patients were admitted with ocular trauma during the study period; 35.8% of admissions with ocular trauma were ≤ 16 years of age. There were 252 adults (> 17 years old); 21.4% (54/252) were females and 78.6% (198/252) were males. The ratio of males to females was 3.7:1. The median age of the females and males was 32 years (95% CI 27, 35.9) and 33 years (95% CI 30, 35.0), respectively. The hospitalization period ranged from 1−283 days, mean 8.8 days in the males; and ranged from 1−39 days, mean six days in the females. March had the highest mean admissions over the six years. Severe chemical burns were the cause of the longest admissions. The most common place of injury was the home (30.2%) followed by in the street (28.2%); only 2% were from recreation. The most common cause of ocular injury was motor vehicle accident in 18.6%. The second most common cause was from nail hammering (14.3%); of this, 97.2% were male. Females (14.8%) were more commonly admitted from chemical injuries than males (11.1%). Of the females, 50% were due to domestic dispute and 50% were accidental bleach spills.
Conclusion: The most common cause of ocular injury was motor vehicle accidents, nail hammering in males and chemical injuries in females. Epidemiological information is important in determining the burden of ocular disease on the population. It is essential in planning improvement in health services and patient education for prevention of serious eye injuries.