June 2017
Volume 58, Issue 8
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2017
Billiards-related ocular and facial injuries
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Anton M Kolomeyer
    Ophthalmology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Natasha V Nayak
    Ophthalmology, New York Eye and Ear Institute, New York, New York, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Anton Kolomeyer, None; Natasha Nayak, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2017, Vol.58, 5953. doi:
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      Anton M Kolomeyer, Natasha V Nayak; Billiards-related ocular and facial injuries. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):5953.

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

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Purpose : To characterize billiards-related ocular and facial injuries evaluated at emergency departments throughout the United States.

Methods : The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System was queried for billiards-related ocular and facial injuries from 1999-2015. Available data included age, sex, race, type of injury, location of sustained injury, type of hospital setting, and disposition.

Results : A total of 378 subjects were identified (72% male; 52% Caucasian). Mean±SD injuries per year were 22.2±9.7 (range, 6-38). Mean±SD age was 19.1±16.1 years (range, 6 months-96 years). Nine (2.4%) patients were <2 years of age, 201 (53%) were 2-17 years old, and 168 (44%) were ≥18 years of age. Most commonly, injuries occurred at home (n=139 [37%]), other public property (n=50 [13%]), and place of recreation or sports (n=30 [7.9%]). These were initially evaluated at a very large hospital (n=121 [32%]), small hospital (n=72 [19%]), medium hospital (n=64 [17%]), children’s hospital (n=64 [17%]), and large hospital (n=57 [15%]). The vast majority (n=367 [97%]) were examined, treated, and released without treatment or were transferred for treatment to another department in the same facility. For those coded with ocular injuries only (n=86), the most prevalent diagnoses included abrasion or contusion (n=50 [58%]), laceration (n=9 [10%]), and hemorrhage (n=5 [5.8%]). In patients coded with facial injuries only (n=292), the most common diagnoses were laceration (n=187 [64%]), abrasion or contusion (n=72 [25%]), and fracture (n=18 [6.2%]). One-hundred-sixty-four (43%) subjects were injured by pool cues, 118 (31%) suffered injuries after hitting the pool table, and 82 (22%) were hurt by pool balls. Twenty-one (5.6%) patients were bystanders when injured, and 24 (6.3%) reported alcohol intake at time of injury.

Conclusions : Billiards-related activities resulted in a multitude of ocular and facial injuries, most commonly secondary to pool cues. Those most frequently injured were young, male, and Caucasian. We encourage parents to take precaution when their children are playing with or are around those playing with pool cues and pool balls. As a large proportion of injuries occurred after falling and hitting the pool table, special caution should be taken when around pool tables. We urge bystanders to pay careful attention when around those playing billiards, and those intoxicated to refrain from billiards-related activities.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.


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