To evaluate the characteristics and outcomes of patients treated for open globe injuries
sustained at work and to compare these results to patients injured outside of work.
Retrospective chart review of 812 consecutive patients with open globe injuries treated
at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary between 1999 and 2008.
A total of 146 patients with open globe injuries sustained at work were identified
and their characteristics and outcomes were compared with the rest of the patients
in the database.
Of the patients injured at work, 98% were men, and the average age of the patients
was 35.8 years (17-72 years). The most common mechanism of injury was penetrating
trauma (56%); 38 patients examined had intraocular foreign bodies (IOFB). Nine work-related
open globe injuries resulted in enucleation. There was a higher incidence of IOFBs
(P = .0001) and penetrating injuries (P = .0005) in patients injured at work. Both
the preoperative (P = .0001) and final best-corrected visual acuity (P = .0001) was
better in the work-related group. The final visual acuity was better than 20/200 in
74.1% of cases of work-related open globe injuries. However, there was no difference
observed in the rate of enucleations (P = .4).
Work-related injuries can cause significant morbidity in a young population of patients.
Based on average patient follow-up and final visual acuity, those injured at work
do at least as well as, if not potentially better than, those with open globe injuries
sustained outside of work. While the statistically higher rate of IOFB in the work
population is not surprising, it does emphasize the importance of strict adherence
to the use of eye protection in the workplace.
Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.