Purpose of review
The aim of this study was to report characteristics of patients presenting with serious ocular injuries during the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders.
Of 1058 patients presenting for emergency evaluation during the stay-at-home order, 62 (5.9%) patients [mean (SD) age, 41.1 (19.2) years; 19 (31%) women; 31 (50%) white] presented with severe ocular trauma. The daily mean (SD) number of patients who presented for emergency evaluation decreased from 49.0 (9) to 36.4 (6) during the quarantine (P < 0.001). Patients presenting during the stay-at-home order were less likely to have health insurance [odds ratio (OR), 0.33; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.13–0.90, P = 0.024], more likely to have a delayed presentation (difference, 22.7 h, 95% CI, 5.8–39.5, P < 0.001, more likely to travel farther to seek emergency care (difference, 10.4 miles, 95% CI, 2.6–18.2, P < 0.001) and more likely to have an injury occur at home (OR, 22.8; 95% CI, 9.6–54.2, P < 0.001). Of injuries occurring at home, there was a significant increase in injuries arising from home improvement projects during the stay-at-home order (28 vs. 0%, P = 0.02).
During the COVID-19 pandemic, patients with ocular trauma were more likely to have injuries sustained at home and have additional barriers to care. These changes underscore a need for targeted interventions to optimize emergent eye care during a pandemic.