Purpose: To investigate the association between seatbelt use and (1) the spectrum of ocular injuries and (2) visual acuity outcomes after motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) with airbag deployment. Design: Single-center retrospective observational case series. Participants: Forty-seven patients involved in MVAs with airbag deployment. Methods: Medical record review of all patients evaluated after an MVA with airbag deployment between January, 1997, and August, 2005, at a single level 1 trauma center. Main Outcome Measures: Type of ocular injury and visual acuity at 3 months after an MVA. Results: Seventy-one percent of patients who did not wear seatbelts experienced type III ocular injuries compared with 31% who wore seatbelts (P<0.0002). Posterior segment injuries occurred only in patients who did not wear seatbelts. At the 3-month follow-up, 76% of patients who did not wear seatbelts achieved a visual acuity of 20/40 or better compared with 96% of patients who wore seatbelts (P>0.10); a visual acuity worse than 20/200 was measured in 14% and 0% of patients in the 2 groups, respectively (P<0.03). Conclusions: In the current study, the use of seatbelts was associated with less severe ocular injuries and better visual outcomes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes