The UK Paediatric Ocular Trauma Study 2 (POTS2): demographics and mechanisms of injuries

Freda Sii, Robert J Barry, Joseph Abbott, Richard J Blanch, Caroline J MacEwen, Peter Shah

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Purpose: Pediatric ocular trauma is an important cause of visual morbidity worldwide, accounting for up to one-third of all ocular trauma admissions. It has long-term implications for those affected and significant economic consequences for healthcare providers. It has been estimated that 90% of all ocular trauma is preventable. Targeted strategies are required to reduce the incidence and the severity of pediatric ocular trauma; this requires an understanding of the epidemiology and characteristics of these injuries and the children involved.

Methods: Prospective, observational study of pediatric ocular trauma cases presenting to UK-based ophthalmologists over a 1-year period; reporting cards were distributed by the British Ophthalmological Surveillance Unit, and clinicians were asked to report incidents of acute orbital and ocular trauma in children aged ≤16 years requiring inpatient or day-case admission. A validated, standardized questionnaire was sent to reporting ophthalmologists to collect data on the demographics and circumstances of injury.

Results: Median age at presentation was 7.7 years, with boys more than twice as likely to be affected than girls (M:F =2.1:1.0). Almost 50% of injuries occurred at home, with 25% occurring in school or nursery. A total of 67% of injuries occurred during play, and 31% involved a sharp implement.

Conclusion: Pediatric ocular trauma remains an important public health problem. At least three-quarters of all injuries are preventable through measures, including education of children and responsible adults, restricting access to sharp implements, improving adult supervision, and appropriate use of eye protection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105—111
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Ophthalmology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2018


  • etiology
  • childhood eye injury
  • epidemiology
  • penetrating eye injury
  • perforating eye injury
  • prevention


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