Bulletin de la Société belge d'ophtalmologie issue:284 pages:49-53
PURPOSE: To determine frequencies of ocular emergencies and identify their nature. DESIGN: Observational case series. METHODS: In a retrospective study, the records of all 118 consecutive patients seen in emergency room during an eleven-month period were reviewed. RESULTS: Ocular emergencies represented 4% of the 2917 new patients visiting the department of Ophthalmology during this time. There was a 2.1/1 male to female preponderance and a peak age of presentation between 11 and 30 years. The mean age was 26 years +/- 17. Ocular trauma (68 patients) accounted for over two-fourths (57.6%) of the total cases. Only 16% of patients presented within 48 hours. Fifty-one percent of injuries occurred to the left eye, 38% to the right, and 10% bilaterally. The commonest ocular injury problems were eyelid laceration (13 patients, 19.1%), post-traumatic iritis (12 patients, 17.6%), and corneal laceration and penetration (10 patients, 14.7%), accounting for 51% (35 patients) of the total. Home- and work-related ocular injuries accounted for 54% of all ocular injuries. Thirty-three percent of all ocular injuries were caused by assault and fight, and 15% were related to motor vehicle accident. For the non-traumatic ocular emergencies, the main aetiological factor was inflammation (18%). CONCLUSION: Our study showed that males account for the majority of eye injuries and this class is more prone to assault-related injuries. In our country prevention strategies must take account of these.