Purpose: This is the first population-based descriptive study of hospitalised eye injuries in New South Wales (NSW), Australia that also estimates the cost of these injures to the health system. The purpose is to describe the incidence and cause of hospitalised eye injuries in NSW from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2005. Method: Hospitalised eye injuries in NSW were obtained from information recorded in the NSW Admitted Patients Data Collection and were identified using relevant International Classification of Disease, version 10 Australian modification (ICD-10-AM) codes pertaining to eye injury. Results: The annual rate of hospitalised eye injuries for NSW residents was 25.5 per 100,000 population. Males had higher rates of hospitalisation than females and males 20-24 years and females aged 85 years or over had the highest rates of hospitalisation for each gender. Injuries of the eye and orbit were the most common type of injury (40.8%) and interpersonal violence was the most common type of injury mechanism (27.4%). The home was the most common specified location of the incident and eye injuries were identified as work-related in 9.8% of cases. Conclusions: Eye injuries are an important cause of hospitalised injury in NSW. Preventive approaches to ocular trauma should be promoted to populations identified at risk.
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