Patterns of ocular trauma in elderly patients in an urban population-the Bronx experience

ABSTRACT Purpose: To evaluate the characteristics of ocular injuries among elderly patients admitted to an urban level I trauma center because of major trauma from 2008 to 2015. Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted of patients aged >65 years admitted with ocular injuries that were identified with ICD-9 codes. Tabulated data were analyzed using the Student’s paired t-test, the chi-squared test, and regression analysis using STATA/MP-12 software. Significance was set at p<0.05. Results: Of a total of 861 patients, 221 (25.7%) admitted for major trauma and ocular injuries were elderly. The mean age of these patients was 80.3 years (median =79.2 years; interquartile range=63.8-94.6 years). Of these patients, 40.7% were males and 59.3% were females. The males were younger than the females (mean age, 77.3 vs. 82.4 years, respectively, p<0.001). Race was documented as white (30.8%), black (13.6%), and “other” (54.3%), with 67.5% of the “other” group (36.7% overall) identified as Hispanic. The most frequent injuries were contusion of the eye/adnexa (68.2%), orbital wall fractures (22.2%), and an open wound of the ocular adnexa (18.1%). Males had a 2.64-fold greater risk of orbital wall fractures (95% confidence interval [CI]=1.38-5.05, p<0.003). Patients with orbital wall fractures had higher injury severity scores than those without (95% CI=14.1-20.9 vs. 6.8-8.6, respectively, p<0.001). The most common injuries were falls (77.8%) and pedestrian/motor vehicle accidents (6.8%). Falls occurred mostly at home (51.7%), on the street (13.9%), and in hospitals/nursing homes (12.2%). Those falling at home were older than those falling at other locations (95% CI=81.8-85.4 vs. 77.0-80.6 years, respectively, p<0.002). Conclusions: Ocular injuries in elderly Bronx patients most commonly occurred in females due to falls in the home/nursing home setting. Public health measures addressing identifiable individual and environmental risks in these common locations would be most beneficial in reducing the incidence of ocular injuries in this population.