Year : 2015  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 24-26

Airbag related ocular injuries: A short case series

Department of Ophthalmology, Guinness Eye Centre, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, PMB 12003, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Chigozie A Mbadugha
Lions’ Eye Centre, General Hospital, Isolo, Lagos
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Source of Support: Nil,, Conflict of Interest: None declared

DOI: 10.4103/0189-9171.164499

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Airbags are designed to protect occupants of motor vehicles from injuries in the event of a crash but have been implicated in some serious ocular injuries after road traffic accidents (RTAs). Diagnosis of airbag related ocular injuries requires a high index of suspicion. Using a retrospective hospital-based, noninterventional study design, we evaluated the frequency and severity of airbag-related ocular injuries in patients presenting with ocular trauma to the eye clinic over a 4 years period. The case notes of patients managed for varying degrees of ocular injuries over a 4 years period in an eye clinic were reviewed. Patient demographics, the cause of injury, type of vehicle, speed, specific ocular structures injured, visual morbidity, and visual outcome were assessed. An 150 cases were identified and enrolled in the study. Only 8 (5.3%) of them were victims of RTAs. Airbag deployment was the mechanism of injury in 2 (1.33%) patients. Details of these two patients are reported. There was bilateral involvement in the two patients that had airbag-related ocular injuries. Each of the patients sustained a ruptured globe in one eye, and one of them became bilaterally blind from airbag-related ocular injuries. Airbag-related ocular injuries can be very severe, and this mechanism of injury should be considered during the assessment of victims of RTAs with ocular injuries.

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