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BMC Ophthalmol. 2008 Nov 26;8:24. doi: 10.1186/1471-2415-8-24.

Traumatic hyphaema: a report of 472 consecutive cases.

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Department of Ophthalmology, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria.



Strategies for prevention of eye injuries require knowledge of the cause of the injuries. This study was done to determine the patient characteristics, the cause of injury, and where cases of traumatic hyphaema that necessitated admission to a tertiary hospital occurred. This may enable an appropriate intervention in the prevention of such injuries.


Retrospective case analysis of 472 patients with traumatic hyphaema admitted to the University College Hospital, Ibadan between January 1997 and December 2006.


The home was the single most frequent place of injury for all cases and for 75% of cases in children aged 0-10 years. Injuries that occurred at school comprised about one-fifth of cases. Sport-related injuries were uncommon. The most common activities preceding injuries were play, corporal punishment and assault. Stones, sticks and whiplash were the agents that caused traumatic hyphaema. Occupational-related hyphaema that caused injuries was mostly in farmers and artisans, few of whom used protective goggles. The majority of patients were males. Children and young adults aged <or= 20 years comprised 63.6% of patients. A total of 336 (76%) eyes had at least one surgical intervention. While 298 (73.2%) patients had visual acuity (VA) less than 6/60 at presentation, 143 (37.0%) of eyes had visual acuity (VA) < 6/60 3 months after injury.


The injuries leading to traumatic hyphaema occur mostly at home and school, and frequently affect children and young adolescents. Over one-third resulted in blindness in the affected eye. The focus should be on prevention of stick-related eye injuries at these locations and improving access to eye health services for patients who sustained eye injuries.

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