Epidemiology of pediatric ocular trauma in the Chaoshan Region, China, 2001-2010

PLoS One. 2013 Apr 8;8(4):e60844. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0060844. Print 2013.


Background: Ocular trauma is the leading cause of monocular visual disability and noncongenital unilateral blindness in children. This study describes the epidemiology and medical care associated with nonfatal pediatric (≤ 17 years of age) eye injury-related hospitalization in the largest industrial base for plastic toy production in China.

Methods: A population-based retrospective study of patients hospitalized for ocular and orbital trauma in the ophthalmology departments of 3 major tertiary hospitals from 1st January 2001 to 31st December 2010 was performed.

Results: The study included 1035 injured eyes from 1018 patients over a 10-year period: 560 (54.1%) eyes exhibited open globe injuries, 402 (38.8%) eyes suffered closed globe injuries, 10 (1.0%) eyes suffered chemical injuries and 8 (0.8%) eyes exhibited thermal injuries, representing an average annual hospitalization rate of 0.37 per 10,000 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.36-0.38) due to pediatric eye injury in the Chaoshan region. The mean patient age was 9.2 ± 4.4 years with a male-to-female ratio of 3.3:1 (P = 0.007). Children aged 6 to 11 years accounted for the highest percentage (40.8%, 416/1018) of hospitalization, 56.7% (236/416) of whom were hospitalized for open globe wounds. Injury occurred most frequently at home (73.1%). Open globe wounds cost the single most expensive financial burden (60.8%) of total charges with $998 ± 702 mean charges per hospitalization.

Conclusions: Open globe wounds occurred at home are earmarked for the priorities to prevention strategies. Higher public awareness of protecting primary schoolchildren from home-related eye injuries should be strengthened urgently by legislation or regulation since the traditional industrial mode seems to remain the pattern for the foreseeable future. Further research that provide detailed information on the specific inciting agents of pediatric eye injuries are recommended for facilitating the development and targeting of appropriate injury prevention initiatives.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • China / epidemiology
  • Eye Injuries / diagnosis
  • Eye Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Eye Injuries / physiopathology
  • Eye Injuries / therapy
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / economics
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Industry
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Play and Playthings
  • Sex Distribution
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vision, Ocular

Grants and funding

The authors have no funding or support to report.