Online Program

Epidemiology of pediatric visits to an eye emergency room

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 9:15 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Ann P. Murchison, MD, MPH, Department of Research, Wills Eye Institute, Philadelphia, PA
Jurij Bilyk, MD, Oculoplastic and Orbital Surgery, Wills Eye Institute, Philadelphia, PA
Purpose: To evaluate the epidemiologic profile of pediatric visits to an ophthalmic emergency department and analyze for incidence of pediatric trauma and preventable eye emergencies. Methods: After Institutional Review Board approval, a retrospective review of all patients seen at an ophthalmic emergency department over one year was performed. Data points included date, age, chief complaint, race, diagnosis, and mechanism of injury. The volume of pediatric patients (age <18 years), visit date and season, and patients requiring admission were evaluated in children and compared to the same metrics in adults. Results: Preliminary analysis has been performed on 13,677 visits over one year with children making up 7.14% of the visits. The most common category of pediatric visits was trauma, making up over 35.0% of visits, followed by infection at 15% of visits. The greatest visit volume in children was in the spring, peaking in March, compared to summer, peaking in August, in adults. Of the 610 patients requiring hospital admission or immediate operative care, 7.5% of them were children. The majority of the children admitted, 78.3%, had sustained trauma with the most common traumatic diagnosis being ruptured globe (28.3%) followed by eyelid laceration (27.8%). Conclusions: Pediatric eye emergency visits in this urban population are most common in the spring and are usually due to trauma. Preventive measures including education and access to pediatric protective eyewear in urban settings could decrease pediatric eye injuries and improve visual outcomes in the community.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the epidemiologic profile of pediatric visits to an ophthalmic emergency department. Analyze the incidence of pediatric trauma and preventable eye emergencies.

Keyword(s): Pediatrics, Emergency Department/Room

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr. Murchison is an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and public health researcher with significant educational, clinical, and research experience. She is a Co-Director of the Wills Eye Emergency Department and a grant-awarded investigator in projects ranging from clinical outcomes to behavioral and medical interventions in ophthalmology.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.