After examining the incidence, common injury mechanisms and economic burden of open globe injuries in the United States, a recent study found that the incidence of open globe injuries was 4.49 per 100,000 population, accounting for $793 million in total costs.
The researchers assessed nationwide emergency department data from 2006 to 2014 and found the incidence of open globe injuries in the United States seemed to decrease; however, that incidence of open globe injuries associated with falls increased. The study noted that young males and individuals with a low socioeconomic status were at increased risk. The researchers found this factor particularly concerning because these individuals may lack the resources to seek timely medical care and may be less well equipped to deal with the ensuing visual morbidity and disability.
The injury incidence was highest in 2006 (5.88 per 100,000 population) and decreased by 0.3% per month between 2006 and 2014. The researchers found that open globe injuries occurred in 37,060 individuals (30.6%) of low socioeconomic status, and the most common injury mechanism overall was being struck by or against an object or person. Open globe injuries associated with falls increased 6.6% between 2006 and 2010 and 2011 and 2015, and they were the most common injury mechanism in individuals older than 70 years.
The study discovered the total cost associated with open globe injuries was $793 million. The cost of emergency department visits increased from $865 during 2006 to 2010 to $1,557 during 2011 to 2015. Inpatient costs similarly increased from $21,527 during 2006 to 2010 to $30,243 during 2011 to 2015. Open globe injuries comprised 2.0% of ocular trauma cases in the United States but were responsible for 8.3% of costs for treatment.
“The severity, visual morbidity and economic burden associated with open globe injuries make them more consequential to patients, health care systems and society at large,” the researchers wrote. “Therefore, there is a need for these injuries to be studied and understood as a separate entity in the field of ocular trauma.”
|Mir TA, Canner JK, Zafar S, et al. Characteristics of open globe injuries in the United States from 2006 to 2014. JAMA Ophthalmol. January 23, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].|