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01.12.2017 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Ophthalmology 1/2017

The impact of ocular trauma during the Nepal earthquake in 2015

BMC Ophthalmology > Ausgabe 1/2017
E. Pradhan, B. Limbu, S. Thakali, N. S. Jain, R. Gurung, S. Ruit
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s12886-017-0429-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Nepal was struck by a massive earthquake on the 25th April 2015 and major aftershock on the 12th of May 2015, resulting in widespread devastation with a death toll in the thousands. The burden of ocular trauma resulting from the recent earthquakes in Nepal has not been described thus far. The aim of this study was to determine the types of ocular injuries sustained in the earthquake in Nepal and its management in Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology (TIO) in Gaushala, Kathmandu.


This is a hospital-based retrospective study of patients presenting to TIO following repeated earthquake. Variables that were recorded included patients’ presenting symptoms and time to presentation, visual acuities at presentation and at follow-up, diagnosis of ocular injury and surgery performed.


There were 59 cases of earthquake victims visiting TIO, Gaushala, Kathmandu from April 2015 to July 2015, with 64 affected eyes due to 5 cases of bilateral involvement. The majority of patients were from the district Sindhupalchowk (14 cases, 23.7%), which was the epicenter of the main earthquake. The average duration between the earthquake and presentation was 13 · 9 days (range 1–120 days). Closed globe injury was most frequent (23 cases), followed by open globe injuries (8 cases). While 24 patients (38%) initially presented with a visual acuity <3/60 in their affected eye, 15 patients (23%) had a visual acuity of <3/60 on follow-up. A variety of surgical treatments were required including anterior and posterior segment repair.


Immediate management of ocular trauma is critical in order to prevent blindness. Characterizing the burden of earthquake-related ocular trauma will facilitate planning for service provision in the event of a future earthquake in Nepal, or in countries, which are similarly at risk of having natural disasters.
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