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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 309-314

An unusual rise in cases of assault in ophthalmic practice during COVID-19 lockdown in a tertiary care hospital

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Karachi Medical and Dental College, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan
2 Department of Ophthalmology, Baqai Medical University, Karachi, Pakistan
3 Department of Ophthalmology, Karachi Medical and Dental College, Spencer Eye Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan

Correspondence Address:
Erum Shahid
C 88, Block A, North Nazimabad, Karachi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ojo.ojo_323_21

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OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study is to report an unusual rise in cases of assault with ocular injury and their medicolegal implications presenting in an eye department of a tertiary care hospital during COVID-19 lockdown. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective, observational case series was conducted in the Department of Ophthalmology, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, Karachi. Data were retrieved from the medicolegal records of the patients from April 1, 2019, to July 31, 2019, and similar months in 2020. We included all the patients of assault with ocular injury as alleged, registered as medicolegal cases. Patients with accidental injuries were excluded from the study. RESULTS: There was 34.3% increase in cases of assault with ocular injury as alleged with 72.35% reduction in the outpatient department patients. The ratio of cases of assault in 2019 and 2020 is 1:4.62. The mean age of the patients in the lockdown year was 33.74 ± 11.9 standard deviation (SD) and in preCOVID year 2019 was 39.74 ± 15.9 SD. Blunt trauma was experienced by 57 (66.3%) and penetrating injury in 2 (2.3%) patients. Sixteen (18.6%) patients had no ocular involvement. Home was the place of assault in 32 (37.2%) and street in 27 (31.4%) individuals. Fist was the source of assault in 46 (53.3%) and rod or stick in 15 (17.4%) individuals. CONCLUSION: There is a fourfold increase in patients of assault during 4 months of COVID-19 lockdown in 2020 as compared to the same time period in 2019. Most of these patients were young age, male gender, and uneducated. The most common place of incident was home, and fist was the most common source of infliction. Most of the injuries were superficial and had minimum effect on visual acuity.

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