Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Protection and Education Have Reduced Eye Injuries in the Military

The Military Health System Blog

Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - Posted by: Health.mil Staff

Many eye injuries have occurred among service members in Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF), and some have led to blindness. A recent article in The Journal of Trauma examines the effectiveness of military eye protection to reduce the rate of eye injuries in service members deployed to Iraq (OIF) and Afghanistan (OEF).

The article was published by Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. It’s based on research conducted by article first author Roger Thomas, M.D., and others who evaluated the rate of eye injuries in OIF and OEF and sought to determine if education on the use of eye protection was related to a decrease in the rate of eye injuries. This study was based on data in the Joint Theater Trauma Registry (JTTR), which was established for the explicit purpose of collecting medical data on injuries in OIF and OEF. (Read more about the JTTR)

3,276 service members were included in the study, who were injured during March 2003 to September 2006. 605 service members reported that they had not been wearing eye protection; and 26% of them sustained an eye injury. 2,671 service members reported that they had been wearing eye protection; and 17% of them sustained an eye injury.

After an intense education program on eye protection, the rate and severity of eye injuries decreased in service members who were wearing eye protection. This study demonstrated that the military eye protection currently being used in OIF and OEF resulted in significantly fewer injuries and less severe injuries. In addition, it appeared that educational programs were successful in increasing compliance with eye protection.

Full article citation:
Thomas R, McManus JG, Johnson A, Mayer P, Wade C, Holcomb JB. Ocular injury reduction from ocular protection use in current combat operations. J Trauma. 2009 Apr;66(4 Suppl):S99-103. (Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, TX)

Posted at 2009-07-21 08:58:48 in Research| Permalink

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