A 30-year-old had been working on a construction site using a pneumatic gun without safety goggles. Unfortunately, there was a jam in the gun, and when he tried to fix it, it discharged into his left eye.
The man was fully oriented and cooperative when he arrived at the hospital. He had extensive damage and bleeding in his left eye, in addition to vision loss on that side. However, the problems were beyond just his eyes.
His x-ray showed penetration of the nail into his frontal lobe, with evidence of bleeding in the neighbouring regions. The patient went through emergency surgery for the nail removal. Furthermore, during the surgery, the surgeons confirmed that the olfactory nerves and major arteries were not affected. They also repaired the damage in his eye to some extent after which he was transferred to intensive care for some time.
The team wrote that he was discharged after five days in the hospital.
The team also confirmed that his vision did not return at follow-up after one week of being discharged. Moreover, his progress is unclear because he went back to his home country for further treatment shortly after.
Transorbital-penetrating injuries (TOPI) are rare. However, they have a high mortality rate. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 18,150 workers experienced eye injuries in just 2020. One-third of those injuries were caused by foreign equipment and objects.
The authors conclude that this serves as a warning about the importance of proper safety procedures in the workplace. They emphasize the need for employers to wear adequate protective equipment for the prevention of injuries.
The report was written by the patient’s medical team at Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah in Malaysia.