Objectives: To outline the characteristics and outcomes of eye injuries in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
Methods: A retrospective review of military inpatient eye injuries, in one military region, population 250,000 soldiers, between January 2006 and December 2010.
Results: There were 709 eye injury patients (759 eyes) during the 5-year period with an incidence of inpatient eye injuries of 57 per 100,000 person-years. The mean age of patients was 24 years, the vast majority male. The majority of eye injuries occurred during recreational time (62%), with the commonest causing being violence (46%). The immediate post-injury vision acuity of 48% of eyes was >6/12; 93% of cases had mechanical ocular injuries and 7% had non-mechanical ocular injuries. 71% of patients were sent to an evacuation hospital within 24 hours and 75% had surgery within 24 hours of injury. The majority of cases (97%) were hospitalized for one visit. On discharge, there was a statistically significant improvement in visual outcomes with 85% of eyes achieving >6/12.
Conclusions: Eye injuries secondary to violence were a frequent occurrence amongst young male PLA members, particularly during recreational time. Most injuries were not sight-threatening, with the majority of patients achieving an excellent visual outcome.
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