Ocular trauma is an important cause of blindness and visual impairment in the United States. This study examined the economic effect of ocular trauma by evaluating hospital length of stay and charges for 4406 discharges from Maryland hospitals from 1979 to 1986. Length of stay declined on average 6.1 % per year during this period. Length of stay was positively associated with age which could not be accounted for by the severity of the trauma or the presence of secondary trauma diagnoses. Other factors associated with length of stay included race, principal diagnosis, secondary trauma, and characteristics of the hospital. National projections estimate greater than 227,000 hospital days and $175 to $200 million in hospital charges alone are due to ocular injuries every year.
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