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Ocular trauma in Birnin Kebbi, Nigeria
Aim. The aim of the study was to determine the patterns of ocular trauma among patients presenting at the Federal Medical Centre in Birnin Kebbi, Nigeria.
Methods. A 1-year retrospective review was undertaken of all patients presenting with ocular trauma to the Federal Medical Centre in Birnin Kebbi.
Results. Ocular trauma was observed in 89 of 1800 (4.9%) patients attending the eye clinic during the study period, with 65 (73%) being males and 46 (51.7%) being children aged 0–16 years. Of these 89 cases of trauma, 59 (66.3%) were caused by blunt and 30 (33.7%) by penetrating injuries, with a majority (61.8%) occurring in the home during weekdays. The greatest numbers of injuries were inflicted by sticks (25.8%) and stones (20.2%). The cornea was affected in 47.2% of cases. Prior to presentation, 79.8% of patients used eye drops purchased over the counter and 7% used a harmful traditional eye medication. Sixty per cent presented 1 week after the trauma took place. At presentation, 33.7% of patients were blind; causes of blindness were corneal scarring (in 34.5% of blind patients), bullous keratopathy (in 27.6%), corneal blood staining (in 10.3%), aphakia (in 6.9%) and retinal detachment (in 20.7%). Visual acuity at presentation (P = 0.001) correlated with visual acuity at discharge, when the proportion of patients who were blind remained at 32.6% (P = 0.002). A relationship was found between both age (P = 0.017) and occupation (P = 0.000) and the location in which the injury occurred, but this was not so for sex (P = 0.069). No relationships were found between age (P = 0.286), sex (P = 0.502) or occupation (P = 0.637) and the causes of ocular trauma. Age (P = 0.354) and sex (P = 0.511) showed no connection with the part of the eye affected; however, there was an association between the site of the injury and the patient’s occupation (P = 0.001).
Conclusion. Ocular trauma remains a significant cause of preventable blindness in developing economies. Renewed efforts are required to reduce cases of blindness from ocular trauma, especially among males and among children during school holidays.