Eye trauma in falls presenting to the emergency department from 2006 through 2015

Document Type





Aims: To characterise the epidemiology of eye trauma in the event of falls presenting to the emergency departments (ED) in the USA.
Method: Retrospective cohort study. Nationwide Emergency Department Sample was used to analyse fall encounters presenting to the ED with eye trauma from 2006 to 2015. National estimates of the leading diagnoses were determined, and multivariable regression was used to determine the relationship between factors involved in fall encounters presenting with eye trauma.
Results: From 2006 to 2015, an estimated 87 991 036 fall encounters presented to the ED, of which 952 781 encounters had eye trauma as either a primary or secondary diagnosis. The overall incidence of fall encounters with eye trauma per 100 000 US population increased from 30.7 encounters in 2006 to 33.8 encounters per 100 000 population in 2014 with a decrease seen in 2015. Eye trauma, including vision-threatening type, was highest in females (n=500 520, 52.5%), elderly (n=400 209, 42%) and children (n=2 06 741, 21.7%). Elderly were more likely to have eye trauma in the setting of falls (adjusted OR (aOR) 2.06, 95% CI 2.02 to 2.11) and be admitted (aOR 1.89, 95% CI 1.86 to 1.91) than adults (reference). The leading types of eye trauma were contusion of orbital tissues (n=174 292, 18.3%), laceration of eyelid and periocular area (n=172 361, 18.1%) and orbital fractures (n=151 013, 15.8%).
Conclusions: Falls are preventable, yet the incidence of falls and resulting eye trauma are increasing despite our best efforts. As ophthalmologists, we should not only develop guidelines to recognise and counsel at-risk groups under our care but also strategies for prevention of eye trauma secondary to falls.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

British Journal of Ophthalmology