Indexed on: 06 Jun '09Published on: 06 Jun '09Published in: Injury
To investigate whether recent socio-demographic changes and recent health and safety measures have impacted on the trends of ocular trauma in the South East of Ireland.We retrospectively reviewed all cases of ocular trauma admitted to our department between October 2001 and September 2007, and the following data were retrieved: demographic details; mechanism of injury and nature of injury.During the study period, 517 patients were admitted with ocular trauma. Work-related and home-related activities were the commonest causes of admission, and accounted for 160 (31.8%) and 145 (28.4%) cases, respectively. In 2006/2007, and following the influx of migrant workers from the 10 new EU accession states (EUAS), the incidence of hospitalised ocular injuries per 100,000 was 89 in persons from the EUAS versus 18 in those of Irish origin, P < or = 0.0001. After adding the offence of not wearing a seat belt to the traffic penalty point system in Ireland, the proportion of road traffic accident (RTA)-related ocular injuries dropped significantly from 6.7% to 2.4%, P=0.03.The inclusion of the offence of not wearing a seat belt in the traffic penalty point system may have contributed to the significantly lower proportion of hospitalised ocular injuries attributable to RTAs. Also, the demographic profile of patients admitted because of ocular trauma has changed over the last 6 years, reflected in an increasing proportion of these injuries in persons from the EUAS. These data will inform healthcare providers, and those involved in developing health and safety guidelines for the workplace.