Visual Outcome of Ocular Trauma and its Medicolegal Interpretation in a Tertiary Care Hospital, Karachi

  • Raffat Rasool Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology
  • Erum Shahid Department of Ophthalmology, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital
  • Roohi Ehsan Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology,
  • Hira Ahmed Department of Anatomy, Karachi Medical and Dental College
  • Shazia Fehmi Department of Anatomy, Karachi Medical and Dental College
  • Arshad Sheikh Department of Ophthalmology, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital
Keywords: Eye injuries, visual acuity, forensic medicine


Objective: To evaluate the visual outcome of ocular trauma and its medicolegal interpretation in a tertiary care hospital, Karachi.
Methods: This was a prospective, cross-sectional observational study conducted at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, Karachi. Data was collected through nonprobability consecutive sampling technique. The study duration was 12 months, from 14 September 2014 to 15 September 2015. Inclusion criteria were patients of both genders aged between 18 - 60 years, presenting with ocular trauma in the outpatient department or admitted through an emergency in the department of Ophthalmology. The exclusion criterion was patients suffering from all extraocular injuries. Patients were followed up for a period of 6 months. Statistical analysis was done through SPSS version 20.0
Results: There were 99 patients, with a mean age of 31.6 ± 18.5 SD years. Males were 74.7% and 82 (82.2 %) were unskilled. Closed globe injury was seen in 54 (54.5%) and the open globe in 45 (45.5%). Nine percent of the patients were assault cases and 90.9% cases were accidental. The corneal injury was seen in 43 (71.6%) and scleral injury in 5 (8.3%) of the patients. At the time of trauma 39.4% of patients presented with 6/60 visual acuity, in the early post-op period 50.5% were 6/6, whereas at six-month follow-up 90.9% patients were with 6/6 visual acuity. Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test showed P-value less than 0.01.
Conclusion: It was concluded that the major outcome of ocular trauma was impaired visual acuity, which improved significantly on regular follow-ups. Medicolegal interpretation of ocular trauma is imperative and should be accounted for properly. It should be exercised by the medicolegal officer, to not give the final report before at least 6 months of follow-up in case of poor visual outcome. Moreover, educate the person to demand compensation during this period.