May 2006
Volume 47, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2006
Patterns of Eye Injuries Presenting to Wisconsin Emergency Departments and Hospitals in 2002
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • J. Knippers
    Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
  • J.E. Kim
    Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
  • A.M. Marbella
    Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
    Injury Research Center,
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  J. Knippers, None; J.E. Kim, None; A.M. Marbella, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  Research to Prevent Blindness
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2006, Vol.47, 3958. doi:
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      J. Knippers, J.E. Kim, A.M. Marbella; Patterns of Eye Injuries Presenting to Wisconsin Emergency Departments and Hospitals in 2002 . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):3958.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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To evaluate the incidence of eye injuries presenting to emergency departments (ED) and hospitals in Wisconsin in 2002 and compare with published national data.


Discharge data of year 2002 was obtained from the Wisconsin Bureau of Health Statistics, which included data from all nonfederal hospitals and ED in the state. Rates of eye injury was calculated by ICD 9 codes and by age, sex, and external cause of injury codes. Possible duplicates between ED visits and inpatients were removed.


During 2002, there were 23,704 eye related visits to the ED and hospitals in Wisconsin, resulting in a rate of 442 per 100,000 population. The majority of injuries occurred in males aged 20–29, accounting for 15% of all injuries. The incidence in men was higher than women in all age groups except those over 80 years old. The most common injury involved superficial injury to the eye and adnexa at 213/100,000. Orbital floor fractures occurred at 9.6/100,000, while open wounds of the globe occurred at 6.75/100,000. Orbital floor fractures occurred about 3 times the national incidence, while open wounds of the eye occurred about 2 times the national incidence. The most common mechanism of injury was foreign bodies (43%), followed by being struck by or against an object (23%), injuries due to falls (6.6%), assault (5.9%) and motor vehicle crashes (4.9%). The incidence of injuries caused by falls and motor vehicle crashes were higher in Wisconsin than in previous national reports. 10.7% of visits had a corresponding location code. Of those, 32.2% occurred at home, 22.2% in industry, 14.5% in unspecified location, 12.4% in other specified location, 5.6% in a public building, 5.4% in a place of sport/recreation, 3.9% on a street/highway, 3.1% in a residential institution, and 0.8% on a farm.


The rate of eye injury in Wisconsin was comparable to reported national incidence, but certain causes of eye injuries differed. The study highlights the need to study regional data as there was variation in specific causes of serious injury when compared with the national data and could be important for defining regional policies for preventive efforts.  

Keywords: clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: prevalence/incidence • trauma 

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