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Open Access Research article

Pattern of paediatric corneal laceration injuries in the University of port Harcourt teaching hospital, Rivers state, Nigeria

Adedayo Omobolanle Adio1* and Henrietta Nwachukwu2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Ophthalmology, University of Port Harcourt, Choba, Rivers state, Nigeria

2 Eye clinic, University of Port Harcourt teaching hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers state, Nigeria

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:683  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-683

Published: 13 December 2012

Abstract

Background

Corneal lacerations mostly affect younger children, commonly males, who will constitute the majority of the workforce. Clinical outcomes are reviewed and compared so that measures to reduce their occurrence and improve outcome can be proffered.

Methods

Records of all children between the ages of 1-18 yrs, who presented with penetrating eye injuries at the eye clinic of the University of Port Harcourt teaching Hospital, Rivers state, Nigeria between January 2002 and December 2009 were included. Information retrieved -patient’s Bio data, presenting symptoms, presenting visual acuity (VA), source of injury, surgical intervention and outcome using VA. All data analysed with EPI Info version 6 with the aid of a statistician.

Results

Folders of thirty-six children (36 eyes) between the ages of 0–18 years diagnosed with corneal laceration over a period of 8 years out of 65 cases managed within that period available. Other folders reported as missing. Male female ratio 3:1, the mean age is 8.7 years (SD ± 3.67). Only one presented within 24 hours. Objects causing injury mainly missiles with stones/catapult injuries (n = 8, 22.2%). Presenting VAs in those that could be measured, ranged from 6/24 to 6/60 (n = 4, 11%) to no light perception (NLP) (n = 5, 13.9%). Associated injuries include lid laceration, cataract, vitreous haemorrhage and retinal detachment. Twenty one patients had primary corneal repair (58.3%) carried out within 7 days of presentation. Four had endophthalmitis. After 3 months follow up, VA of 6/60 and better was achieved in 11 of 18 eyes left in follow up (6/60-6/24 in 8 eyes (22.2%), 6/18 and better in 3 eyes (8.3%).

Conclusion

Most eye injuries in children are preventable. In this study, the prognosis was better in those whose injuries were confined to a peripheral part of the cornea, with no other associated injury, who presented within 5 days and who did not have any intraocular infection at the time of presentation. The importance of health education, adult supervision of play and application of appropriate measures that is necessary for reducing the incidence and severity of trauma is emphasized.

Keywords:
Corneal laceration; Missiles; Penetrating injury; Paediatric trauma; Ocular injury; University of port harcourt teaching hospital; Nigeria