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Clin Ophthalmol. 2011;5:955-60. doi: 10.2147/OPTH.S21761. Epub 2011 Jul 11.

Epidemiology of ocular emergencies in the Egyptian population: a five-year retrospective study.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University.



The purpose of this study was to determine the epidemiology of ocular lesions seen in the ophthalmic casualty room of the largest referral hospital in Egypt over 5 years from 2004 to 2008.


This epidemiologic database study used the medical records at Cairo University Hospital. Data were recorded using the ICD10 classification. Statistical analysis was based on diagnosis, age, gender, residential area, and year of admission.


Over 5 years, 8361 ocular emergencies were admitted as inpatients. Open globe injuries were the most prevalent, comprising 33.46% of emergencies. Most cases were males (69%), in whom the most frequent lesions were open globe injuries, infective keratitis, and lid injuries. The most common ocular emergencies in females were open globe injuries, infective keratitis, endophthalmitis, and glaucoma. The age group 6-16 years accounted for 24% of emergencies, and patients over 45 years accounted for 26.8%. Under the age of 45 years, the most common lesions were open globe injuries (36%), and over this age, the most common lesions were infective keratitis (34.4%). Patients from Upper Egypt accounted for 56.2% of emergencies. A superficial corneal foreign body was the most common reason for attending the ophthalmic casualty room, with 24,844 cases seen over the 5 years of the study, all of which were managed as outpatient procedures. Deep corneal foreign bodies were more common than intraocular foreign bodies. The most common ocular hemorrhage was hyphema. The most common type of glaucoma was acute angle closure.


Superficial corneal foreign bodies, open globe injuries, and infective keratitis are the main ocular emergencies seen in the Egyptian population. Corneal foreign bodies are mostly the result of occupational accidents in workers not wearing protective goggles. Violent altercations (41.9%), occupational accidents (26.3%), and motor vehicle accidents (24.4%) were the main circumstances involved in open globe injuries. The most common admissions were for open globe injuries under the age of 45 years and infective keratitis above this age. Upper Egypt was the main referring geographic area.


foreign body; infective keratitis; lid injuries; ocular casualties; open globe

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