Traumatic hyphaema in Ilorin, Nigeria: implications for designing preventive health education messages

  • AO Mahmoud University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria
  • A Adeboye


Ophthalmic facilities and ophthalmologists required to manage Traumatic Hyphaema (TH) patients are scarce in most developing countries like Nigeria. Hence it is important to document the pattern of TH with a view to preventing eye injuries that cause them. We aim to document the pattern of TH in Ilorin, Nigeria, and draw out implications for the design of appropriate health education messages that will prevent causative eye injuries and ensure early presentation of patients with TH to the eye clinic. A retrospective review of the hospital records of all the 23 patients that had TH at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, from May 1999 to May 2005 was made. Sixteen of the 23 patients were males and 7 females (M:F=2.8:1). The age ranged from 6 to 60 years with a mean of 21 years. Seventeen of the patients (74%) were aged 20 years and below. Only 6 patients (26%) presented within the first 24 hours of sustaining eye injury. The activities that patients were engaged in when they sustained their eye injuries included children while at play 6 (26%), children while being disciplined by adults 5 (21.7%), domestic accidents 6 (26%), sports injury 2 (9%), occupational accidents 2 (0.09%), and assault 2 (9%). Eight patients (34.8%) underwent anterior chamber paracentesis due to their persistently elevated intraocular pressure and non-clearing hyphaema. Only a patient had a re-bleed episode. In conclusion most patients with TH did not present early to the hospital following their eye injury. With appropriate precautionary measures, the various activities that led to their eye injuries could be made safer. The implications of these in fashioning relevant health education messages are explored.

Keywords: traumatic hyphaema, ocular trauma, health education, Ilorin, Nigeria

The Tropical Journal of Health Sciences Vol. 13(2) 2006: 35-38

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eISSN: 1117-4153