Objective: Determine the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) as a mechanism of traumatic ocular injury in women, typical injury patterns, and the clinical course of affected patients. Encourage IPV screening and safety assessment in patients presenting with characteristic ocular trauma. Methods: Medical records of 211 female patients with traumatic ocular injuries evaluated at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics between January 1995 and January 2015 were reviewed to determine the rate of IPV as a mechanism of ocular trauma. Twenty-one patients were excluded due to no documented trauma. Results: Leading causes of traumatic ocular injuries in the 190 female patients included were accidental trauma with an inanimate object (n = 70/190, 36.8%), falls (n = 52/190, 27.4%), motor vehicle collisions (n = 21/190, 11.1%), and assault (n = 16/190, 8.4%). In 2.1% of cases (n = 4/190), no mechanism of traumatic injury was documented. Assault was the fourth leading mechanism of injury accounting for 8.4% of cases (n = 16/190), with IPV accounting for more than one third of cases with a documented perpetrator (n = 5/13). No perpetrator was documented in 18.8% (n = 3/16). All 5 patients with IPV-related injuries sustained scleral laceration or rupture; 4 out of 5 patients had no light perception vision and ultimately required enucleation. Conclusion: IPV is an important mechanism of traumatic ocular injury. IPV-associated injuries tend to be severe in nature, as demonstrated by the high rate of globe laceration or rupture and subsequent enucleation in the study population. By appropriate screening and referral, ophthalmologists have an opportunity to redirect a potentially devastating course.
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