Spectrum of Ocular Injuries in Children with Major Trauma

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Background:Few studies document the variety of ocular injuries encountered in children after major trauma. This study was performed to determine the type and frequency of ocular injuries in a large population of children with major trauma.Methods:All children with ocular and adnexal injuries (n = 7497) among 96,879 children registered in the National Pediatric Trauma RegistryR (NPTR) were analyzed. Children were stratified for Injury Severity Score (ISS is a method for categorizing patients with multiple injuries in which an ISS > 15 is considered major trauma), age, sex, injury, protective restraint, vision threatening injury, and basilar skull fracture.Results:Nearly 8% of the children in the NPTR sustained an ocular injury. These children had one or more injuries to one or both eyes and/or the ocular adnexa for an average of 1.3 ocular injuries per child. Three-fourths (75%) of the children with an ocular injury had an ISS ≤ 15 and one-fourth (25%) had an ISS > 15. Among children with an ISS > 15 the most common injuries were orbital wall fracture (59%) and contusion of the eye and ocular adnexa (18%). Among these same children with an ISS > 15, the percent of orbital wall fractures, injuries to the optic nerve, and injuries to the other ocular cranial nerves doubled while the percent of basilar skull fractures tripled when compared with children with an ISS ≤ 15. Penetrating injuries of the globe were significantly lower in children with an ISS > 15 than in children with an ISS ≤ 15. Over 70% of the children with an eye injury and an ISS > 15 sustained injury in an accident involving a motorized or non motorized vehicle, and over 75% of those who could have been restrained, were not restrained.Conclusions:Children with an ocular injury sustained during major trauma (ISS > 15) are more likely to have a basilar skull fracture, orbital wall fracture, and a contusion of the eye and/or the ocular adnexa as compared with children with ISS ≤ 15. Children with any of these injuries sustained during major trauma should be afforded prompt ophthalmologic evaluation to uncover injury to components of the visual system.

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