Evaluation and classification of pediatric ocular trauma

Paul J. Rychwalski, Henry S. O'Halloran, Hugh M. Cooper, Robert S. Baker, Julia L. Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose: To offer to the pediatric emergency physician consistent and unambiguous terms for the description of pediatric ocular trauma, based upon an adapted version of a standardized classification system. To show the potential effect of this reclassification system in a tertiary care emergency department. Methods: The authors reviewed a new classification system of ocular trauma and adapted it for use by pediatric emergency physicians. In addition, a retrospective analysis of the records of pediatric patients presenting over a 2-year period to a tertiary emergency department with ocular complaints was performed. The diagnoses related to ocular trauma were reclassified according to the new classification system. Results: Over a 2- year period, 117 pediatric patients were evaluated for ophthalmic complaints. Sixty-seven (57%) of these cases involved an ocular contusion or ruptured globe; however, six disparate diagnoses were given. The cases were reclassified into an adapted, unambiguous, classification system. In some cases, the reclassification altered the indication for immediate ophthalmologic referral. Conclusion: There is currently no standardized system of terminology to describe pediatric ocular trauma. This may lead to confusion in communication among the pediatric emergency physician, the pediatrician, and the ophthalmologist. Consistent, unambiguous, terminology will assist in this communication, facilitate the writing of peer-reviewed articles and case reports, and increase the level of accurate documentation in the medical record.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-279
Number of pages3
JournalPediatric Emergency Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1999


  • Pediatric ocular trauma
  • Terminology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Emergency Medicine


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