Based in Birmingham, Alabama, the United States Eye Injury Registry collects and documents information on serious eye injuries, how they occur and how they are treated. It's a joint venture of the American Society of Ocular Trauma and the Helen Keller Foundation for Research and Education, sponsoring the collection of data from treating ophthalmologists using a standardized reporting form. "The information is confidential and undergoes a rigorous quality control process before it is entered into the database," comments USEIR President, Dr. Ferenc Kuhn.
Until the USEIR began in 1988, there was no source for comprehensive data on the epidemiology of eye injuries — and in its earliest form, the database was rather primitive. "Originally, data were gathered on paper forms, which were filled out and then mailed to individual state registry offices," Dr. Kuhn relates. "The information was then entered into a customized dBase data set. Later, floppy or Zip discs were mailed to the central office in Birmingham for bulk entry. The most serious limits to the effective operation of the USEIR was the use of dBase and the use of mechanical media."