Globe trauma associated with falls at Australian tertiary centres

Christopher Bartimote*, Annette K. Hoskin, Clare L. Fraser, Stephanie Watson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Objective: Falls frequently cause globe and adnexal trauma, particularly in the elderly. The morbidity decreases confidence, independence and quality of life. We aimed to improve the understanding of fall-related globe and adnexal trauma and the involvement of ophthalmology at two tertiary trauma centres. Methods: A retrospective medical record review was conducted at Royal North Shore Hospital and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital of patients admitted with fall-related globe and/or adnexal trauma between January 2015 and December 2019. International Classification of Disease Tenth Revision codes were used to identify patients for inclusion. Medical records were reviewed to extract data on demographics, trauma, ocular examination and referrals to ophthalmology. Results: From January 2015 to December 2019, 346 patients, 186 were female (54%) and median age 76 years (interquartile range 24 years), were admitted to Royal North Shore Hospital and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital with fall-related globe and/or adnexal trauma. One hundred and twenty-five (36%) suffered globe trauma with 48 (14%) classified as severe. Patients over 65 years old had at least three risk factors contributing to falls. Alcohol and illicit substances were involved in 20% of falls and occurred predominantly in younger populations. There were significantly more patients with globe trauma if orbital/mid-facial fractures were present (55% vs 36%, P < 0.001). Conclusion: Fall-related globe and adnexal trauma were more common in the elderly. Alcohol and illicit substances have a role in falls in younger populations. Thorough ocular assessment is required especially in mid-facial/orbital trauma to exclude globe trauma. Further, research is required to determine the effect of fall prevention strategies in preventing globe trauma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-61
Number of pages7
JournalEMA - Emergency Medicine Australasia
Issue number1
Early online date24 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2023. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • accident
  • adnexal trauma
  • elderly
  • fall
  • globe trauma
  • trauma


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