Review of ocular trauma in tamale teaching hospital, tamale, Ghana
The objective of this study was to establish the epidemiologic characteristics, referral pattern, interventions, visual outcomes and complications of ocular trauma in Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) Eye Clinic, Tamale, Ghana. Methods and materials: This was a retrospective hospital-based case series in which all new patients of all ages with various eye conditions from 1st January to 31st December 2010 were reviewed from the outpatient/ inpatient record books and the sex and age recorded. The files/ folders of patients with ocular trauma were consecutively selected and retrieved. The epidemiological characteristics, referral pattern, interventions, visual outcomes and complications of ocular trauma were reviewed. The relevant data was extracted and a structured questionnaire completed for each patient. The data was then exported into STATA version 12 (Stata Corp, College Station, Texas) and analyzed. Significant differences and associations were determined by p-values of less than 0.05. Results: A total of 2,027 records of new patients with various eye conditions were retrieved. Three hundred and sixty one (377 eyes) new ocular trauma patients’ files/ folders were analyzed. The Male: Female ratio was 1:1.1 (p=0.09) for all new patients with various eye conditions whilst it was 1.8:1 (p<0.01) for new ocular trauma patients. Majority, 474 (23.38%), of new patients with various eye conditions were older than 49 years whilst most ocular trauma patients, 99 (27.42%), were in the age group of 20 – 29 years. Most, 247 (68.42%), ocular trauma patients were seen at TTH without a referral. Conjunctival lesions were the commonest, 144 (38.20%), finding in traumatized eyes at presentation. The commonest, 243 (64.46%), intervention rendered was medical treatment alone. By the WHO classification, the majority, 227 (67.36%), of traumatized eyes had normal vision, 47 (13.95%) were monocularly visually impaired and 63 (18.42%) were monocularly blind immediately after sustaining ocular trauma. Most, 337 (89.39%), traumatized eyes had no complications following ocular trauma. Forty (10.61%) eyes had complications of which corneal opacities/ scars were the commonest, 16 (4.24%). Conclusion: Ocular trauma was a relatively common health problem especially among males in the economically active age group and a significant cause of monocular visual impairment/ blindness in TTH, Tamale, Ghana. Public awareness campaign on preventive measures need to be instituted to reduce the incidence and debilitating effects of ocular trauma as it has the potential of increasing the incidence of poverty in the community and the country as a whole because visual impairment/ blindness from ocular trauma has the potential to reduce ones productivity and that of the family as a whole since most affected persons turn to be the breadwinner of their families.