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26-year-old suffers vision loss following ice pick attack

A man sustained permanent sight loss in his right eye after he was assaulted with an ice pick

ice pick and helmet
BMJ Case Reports authors have described their treatment of a patient who presented to hospital with severe pain and complete vision loss in his right eye following an assault.

In a patient account included within the report, the 26-year-old man described being assaulted with an ice pick.

“I was assaulted by a group of people, and an ice pick was thrust into my eye by someone. This was removed by the bystanders, and I was brought to the hospital,” he said.

On arrival at hospital, the patient’s wound was cleaned and sutured. He remained under observation and was treated with intravenous antibiotics and corticosteroids.

A CT scan revealed that the ice pick had injured the optic nerve, entering the intraconal compartment and passing through the lateral wall of the right orbit.

Although surgery was performed, the clinicians were not able to save sight in the patient’s right eye.

“Even though I lost vision in my right eye, I am grateful to the doctors for the prompt treatment that I received that saved my life,” the patient noted.

The clinicians noted that transorbital intracranial penetrating injuries may present with small external injuries.

“However, these cases must be dealt with utmost caution, and cross-sectional imaging evaluation must be performed to determine the extent of injury and detect retained foreign bodies,” they shared.