Preventable Falls and Fights Cause Most Eye Injuries Interview with:
Christina R. Prescott, M.D., Ph.D
Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology
Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Prescott: I wanted to look at the most common causes of severe ocular injuries, with the hope of helping to focus injury prevention strategies.

From 2002 to 2011, the mean hospital charge for inpatient hospitalizations due to eye injuries increased from $12,430 to $20,116, when controlling for inflation.  This increase paralleled the increase of mean hospital charges for all inpatient stays during the same time period, even when controlling for length of stay, which actually decreased slightly.  Costs were highest at large hospitals and for older patients.  Race, insurance, and gender were less strongly correlated to cost.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Prescott: Most of these injuries were preventable; and I’m hoping that by making people aware of the financial cost, which does not even include the long term cost of visual impairment, people will be likely to use eye protection.  Safety glasses are inexpensive an underutilized.  During sports and games (especially games involving play guns), safety glasses should always be worn.  For adults, when working on the house, car, or lawn, safety glasses offer protection from unexpected accidents.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Prescott: The results of this study led me to start another study looking at the hospital billing records of patients with the same types of injuries over the same time period in our own hospital (Johns Hopkins).  I am optimistic that we will be able to determine the cause (or causes) of this increase in cost so that we can focus on strategies to reduce those costs.


Economic Trends in Eye-Related Hospitalizations (PO118) was presented at AAO 2015, the 119th annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Presented Nov. 13-17 2015

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Christina R. Prescott, M.D., Ph.D (2015). Preventable Falls and Fights Cause Most Eye Injuries 

Last Updated on November 17, 2015 by Marie Benz MD FAAD