Firearm-Related Eye Injuries to Patients Under 21

JAMA Ophthalmology


Media advisory: To contact corresponding author Joyce N. Mbekeani, M.D., F.R.C.S., F.R.C.Ophth., email Rachael McCallen at The full study and commentary are linked to this news release.

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Bottom Line: Researchers used data from a national registry of hospitalized trauma cases in the United States to examine patterns of firearm-related eye injuries among patients under age 21 from 2008 through 2014. There were about 8,700 eye injuries from firearms in the U.S. during that time, of which nearly a quarter (1,972) were in patients under 21, mostly male adolescents ages 12 to 18. Black patients were most likely to be injured in assaults and white patients were most likely to have self-inflicted firearm-related eye injuries. Most firearm-related eye injuries were sight-threatening and associated with severe injury and traumatic brain injury. About 12% of patients died from their injuries in the hospital. Limitations of this observational study include the exclusion of patients who weren’t hospitalized because they died at the scene, which may underestimate the true implications of firearm-related eye trauma.

Authors: Joyce N. Mbekeani, M.D., F.R.C.S., F.R.C.Ophth., Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York, and coauthors.



Editor’s Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

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