Falling and fighting top the list of major causes of eye injuries resulting in hospitalization over a 10-year period, according to research presented today at AAO 2015, the 119th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Falling was the No. 1 cause of eye injuries overall and accounted for more than 8,425 hospitalizations. Researchers also found that the cost to treat eye injuries at hospitals rose by 62 percent during that period and now exceeds $20,000 per injury.
Serious ocular trauma injuries include orbital fractures and being pierced by objects. These injuries can be expensive to treat, and in many cases are preventable. With that in mind, researchers at Johns Hopkins University decided to identify the most common causes of eye injuries as well as the associated hospital costs so that prevention efforts could be better targeted. Such interventions could perhaps lower eye injury rates and overall health care costs for eye trauma inpatient visits.
They identified a sample of nearly 47,000 patients ages 0 to 80 diagnosed with ocular trauma from 2002 to 2011 using a national health care database. They examined the total cost of hospitalization, cause of injury, type of injury and length of hospital stay. The researchers then grouped injured people by age. Their findings include:
"While we have some clues, we still can't be certain why it's more expensive to get treated for an eye injury now than before," said Christina Prescott, M.D., Ph.D., the study's lead researcher and an ophthalmology professor at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University. "It could be related to drug prices or administrative costs. Either way, it's clear we need more targeted interventions to help reduce these types of injuries, many of which are preventable."
Cite This Page: