18 March 2006

Nailgun mishap

The official story was that it was a ricochet, though it surpasses credulity to see how such a thing could occur. Yet it has happened, not just once, but apparently at least twice, as previously reported here.

Unfortunately, this poor fellow who came to our ED was worse off than the gentleman from Colorado who suffered the same injury but apparently did very well. This nail seems to have been somewhat longer and went in more orthagonally, transfixing the left eyeball, from below. The brain was not penetrated. To our surprise, he actually had quite good vision in the left eye as measured by a handheld snellen chart -- about 20/50. He could still move the eyeball from side to side, though his acuity worsened when he did.

He was transferred to the local trauma center, where I presume he required enucleation.


  1. Owee!

    Reminds me of a guy that got injured on a job where I worked as a youngster. He was using a nail gun to frame up a building. Coming down a ladder, he unbalanced and fell, slamming the nail gun against his thigh, where it discharged. The result was an immobilized knee, due to the long nail fixing femur to tibia.

    Again, ouch!

  2. Man, you beat me to the punch. I was going to put up a similar xray on my blog. Ya stole my thunder.

  3. If he could still see and move the eye, I'd think they'd try to save it. At that point, it's just a globe perforation, right? Granted, probably with all kinds of nasty intrasinus bacteria inside...A little intraoccular antibiotics, a good swift tug with a pair of pliers, and he's all set to go, right? Maybe some "fix-a-flat" for the perforation as well.


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