Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of emermedjEmergency Medical JournalVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
Emerg Med J. 2007 May; 24(5): 370.
PMCID: PMC2658499

Trans‐oculofacial injury from airgun pellet

An 18‐year‐old boy was accidentally shot with an airgun by a friend while playing at home. He was seen in the casualty unit at Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds, UK. A penetrating ocular injury, with a traumatic cataract and vitreous haemorrhage, was observed. A complex trans‐oculofacial injury was confirmed by a computed tomography scan (fig 11).). The risks of infection and lead intoxication were not marked with retained intranasal air pellet, and no further endoscopic exploration was undertaken. A primary ocular surgical repair was performed with a lens aspiration, followed by surgery for retinal detachment. Air weapons are an important cause of serious eye injuries in adolescent boys. A survey by the British Ophthalmic Surveillance Unit raised questions regarding airgun use.1 The UK Government has changed the legislation recently to deal with increasing public concerns over airgun misuse. Despite new legislation, airgun pellets remain a cause of sight‐threatening ocular injury.

figure em37408.f1
Figure 1 Computed tomography at initial presentation. Coronal orbital views show haematoma in the right ethmoid sinus and a medial orbital wall fracture. The airgun pellet is embedded in the midline nasal bones, and lies in close proximity to ...


Competing interests: None declared.


1. Shuttleworth G N, Galloway P H. Ocular air‐gun injury: 19 cases. J R Soc Med 2001. 94396–399.399 [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Emergency Medicine Journal : EMJ are provided here courtesy of BMJ Publishing Group