Article Text

Download PDFPDF

The aetiology of perforating ocular injuries in children
  1. C G Thompson1,
  2. N Kumar2,
  3. F A Billson3,
  4. F Martin2
  1. 1Port Macquarie Eye Centre, NSW, Australia
  2. 2The New Children's Hospital, Department of Ophthalmology, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  3. 3Save Sight Institute, University of Sydney, Department of Ophthalmology, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  1. Correspondence to: Dr C G Thompson, 11 Parker Street, Port Macquarie, Australia; csthompson{at}


Aims: To assess the aetiological factors associated with the occurrence of perforating ocular injuries in children in an urban setting and to assess the visual outcomes of such injuries.

Methods: All cases of perforating ocular injury presenting to a single paediatric hospital (age less than 16 years) over a 17 year period were identified by a medical record search. All new cases of perforating ocular injury identified were included. All information was obtained retrospectively from the medical records.

Results: There were 72 cases identified. The commonest causes of perforating ocular injury were sharp tools (knives/scissors) poked by the child into his/her own eye (17%), or objects thrown at the child (17%). Injuries were most likely to have occurred at home (58%). The age range for injuries was 8 months to 14 years 8 months. Perforating ocular injury was most frequent in the 3–6 year group (32%) followed by the 6–9 year group (25%). Males were more frequently involved than females (48–24). There was no correlation between the laterality of the eye, the time of day of the occurrence, or the day of the week of the occurrence. The final acuity achieved was better or equal to 6/12 in 36% and less than 6/60 in 31%. Injuries occurred more frequently on weekends than on weekdays. There were six enucleations (8%). Follow up was for an average period of 25 months.

Conclusions: Penetrating ocular injury occurs most frequently in the home setting and mostly as the result of the use of sharp tools or by thrown objects. Prevention of penetrating ocular injury requires greater education of children and their carers especially on the potential dangers within the home.

  • perforating ocular injury
  • aetiology
  • trauma
  • children

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.