Rate of eye injury in the United States

Gerald McGwin, Aiyuan Xie, Cynthia Owsley
Archives of Ophthalmology 2005, 123 (7): 970-6

OBJECTIVE: To provide a comprehensive estimate of the rate of eye injury in the United States.

METHODS: Data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, and the National Hospital Discharge Survey for 2001 were combined and used to provide estimates of eye injuries treated in emergency departments, inpatient and outpatient facilities, and private physicians' offices, as well as their causes and characteristics [corrected]

RESULTS: In the United States in 2001, an estimated 1 990 872 (6.98 per 1000 population) individuals experienced an eye injury requiring treatment in an emergency department, inpatient or outpatient facility, or private physician's office. Most eye injuries are treated in emergency departments (50.7%), followed by private physicians' offices (38.7%), and outpatient (8.1%) and inpatient (2.5%) facilities. Eye injury rates were highest among individuals in their 20s, males, and whites. Injury rates were highest for superficial injuries, foreign bodies, contusions, and open wounds.

CONCLUSIONS: This study provides a comprehensive estimate of the rate of eye injury in the United States. Private physicians represent an important source of care for eye injury in the United States.

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