Reid Ferguson, Justin Sung, James McKelvie
Purpose: To evaluate the incidence, demographics, aetiology, and visual outcomes of 0-17-year-old chil- dren in New Zealand sustaining traumatic eye injuries. Methods: New Zealand Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) data were analysed to identify all children presenting to any registered New Zealand health provider with eye injuries in the decade span- ning 2006-2015. ACC national data were correlated with Auckland (regional) eye-injury data and a ran- domised sample of 125 patients were selected for additional analysis. Clinical notes were reviewed providing data on visual outcomes, protective eye- wear use, surgical intervention, and follow-up. Pop- ulation incidence, aetiology, demographics and location of injury were calculated from the national and regional sample data.
Results: From 2006-2015 there was a total of 83,869 eye injuries recorded nationally in 0-17year-old children. The incidence of eye injury was 6.8/ 10,000/year. Patients were predominantly male, 70.8%(95%CI=68.9-72.7%), and NZ-European eth- nicity 47.8%(95%CI=45.7-49.9%). The rate of injury was highest in patients aged 10-14y 35.9%(95% CI=33.9-37.9%). Mechanism of injury was ?struck by object? in 49.6%(95%CI=47.5-51.7%). Eye injury occurred most commonly at home 49.4%(95% CI=47.2-51.5%), and at school in 17.6%(95% CI=11.8-25.2%). Permanent disability, with ftnal visual acuity worse than 6/12, was noted in 22.4% (95%CI=15.9-30.5%). Enucleation was required in 2.4%(n=3). Protective eyewear use was reported in 3%.
Conclusions: Childhood eye injury is a common, preventable cause of potentially severe permanent disability. Male children aged 10-14y are in the highest risk category. A signiftcant proportion of injuries occur at school and protective eyewear use is reportedly low. The promotion of appropriate childhood injury prevention strategies is an impor- tant public health message.