Road traffic accidents and ocular trauma

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1. M El Shtewi, MD, M N Shishko, MD, and G K Purohit, MDAuthor information ► Copyright and License information ►This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.…
  • 1. M El Shtewi, MD, M N Shishko, MD, and G K Purohit, MDAuthor information ► Copyright and License information ►This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.
  • 2. Road traffic accidents (RTA) are common occurrences every day.With the ever increasing number of various road transportvehicles, and the increasing number of new drivers, trafficaccidents keep on increasing, causing mild to severe humaninjury, including injuries to the eyes.Eye injuries, often resulting in some visual loss, createenormous costs both to the victim and to society. There is greatneed for more active interest in the prevention of eye injuries.It is necessary to accumulate relevant data of damage caused byroad traffic accidents (RTA) and, also, to evaluate the presentsituation in Libya.The Casualty Service of the Tripoli Eye Hospital, which receivestrauma cases, is open day and night. Many cases of eye injuriesare sent from the Trauma Centre, Central Hospital, Tripoli.Ocular involvement in road traffic accidents may involve theeyelids, lacrimal canaliculi, orbitalwall, conjunctiva, cornea, sclera and the extra-ocular muscles.There may be prolapse of uveal tissue, vitreous loss, traumaticcataract, retinal detachment, vitreous haemorrhage, choroidalrupture, optic nerve avulsion or a ruptured globe.
  • 3. This two year study, from 1 October 1993 until 30 September1995, reports the ocular trauma caused by road traffic accidentsin patients attending or referred to the Tripoli Eye Hospital.Nature of the InjuryMost of the accidents were due to collision of one car withanother vehicle, often in head-on impact overtaking on one-wayroutes, or at road traffic crossings. At times the injury wascaused by a careless driver injuring a pedestrian.Glass-splinters from the windscreen caused cut wounds to theface, eyelids, conjunctiva and corneas. Rupture of the globeoccurred. In some cases the injuries were limited to the externaleye only with superficial abrasion to the cornea. In someinstances, for example, pieces of glass and the frame of thespectacles pierced the eye causing a perforating injury. In a fewinstances the steering wheel and dashboard were struck by theforehead, face and the eye causing severe blunt trauma. Rarely, afracture of the orbital margin resulted. Intraocular foreignbodies or extraocular foreign bodies impacted in the soft tissuesof the eyes or adnexae. It was not possible to distinguishwhether the glass fragments were from windscreen glass orspectacle glass.
  • 4. Recommendations for the Prevention of Ocular and Orbital Injuriesin Road Traffic Accidents1. Passengers sitting in the front seats more commonly sustain ocular trauma. •The use of safety seat belts must be made compulsory. •All road vehicles must have laminated glass windscreens.2. The practice of sitting younger children on the lap of a parent on one of the front seats should not be allowed.3. There is urgent need for education of the public through the use of news media and television programmes. •The requirement of wearing seat belts •Observation of the rules of the road •Punishment for reckless driving and dangerous overtaking4. The use of unbreakable plastic spectacles should be encouraged.5. Road markings, guiding traffic and drivers, need to be re- painted more frequently. Paint should be fluorescent so as to be clearly visible during darkness.
  • 5. References1. Negrel A-D, Thylefors B. The global impact of eye injuries.Ophthalmic Epidemiology. 1998;5:143–69. [PubMed]2. Cole MD, Clearkin L, Dabbs T, Smerdon D. The seat belt law andafter. Br J Ophthalmol. 1987;71:436–40. [PMC free article][PubMed]POSTED BY ATTORNEY RENE G. GARCIA:For more information:- Some of our clients have suffered thiskind of injuries due to a serious accident. The Garcia Law Firm,P.C. was able to successfully handle these types of cases. For afree consultation please call us at 1-866- SCAFFOLD or 212-725-1313.
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