Purpose: To report trends in serious, sight-threatening ocular trauma in Scotland. Methods: A prospective, population-based, observational study of patients with ocular trauma admitted to hospital in Scotland during a 12-month period (2008-2009), conducted through the British Ophthalmic Surveillance Unit. Data on circumstances of the injuries and visual outcomes were collected using protocols standardised to those from an earlier study (1991-1992) to allow direct comparisons over time. Results: In all, 0.3% of all emergency admissions in Scotland were for ocular trauma. Significant differences were observed between the time periods in where an injury occurred (P=0.009): a reduction of those occurring in a sportsleisure facility (8.2%) and an increase in those occurring on the street (21.4%). Assaults remained the most common cause of injury (31%). Gender differences persisted with females more likely to have an injury from falls (OR=8.67; 95% CI: 2.41-31.49; P=0.002), or in the home (OR=5.40; 95% CI: 1.69-17.16; P=0.009), and less likely to have one in the workplace (P=0.06). Poor visual outcome was associated with injuries occurring in the home (OR=4.33, P=0.047), in a public place (OR=6.25, P=0.047), and those caused by a fall (OR 42.75, P<0.001); or assault (OR 7.29, P=0.019). Half of those with a poor outcome have no perception of light. Conclusion: Serious ocular trauma remains an infrequent, sight-threatening event, associated with significant monocular visual morbidity. The findings suggest a shift from corporate to personal responsibility for risk awareness, health, and safety.
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