Nerf Guns Can Cause Serious Eye Bleeding

Helgi Halldórsson from Reykjavík, Iceland Wikipedia image

A man aiming an N-Strike Stampede ECS
Wikipedia image Interview with:
Dr. Mukhtar Bizrah
Accident & Emergency Department,
Moorfields Eye Hospita
NHS Foundation Trust
London, UK What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We noticed a number of patients presenting to the accident and emergency department at our hospital following ‘Nerf gun’ injuries. We decided to perform this study because an online literature search revealed that currently there was no published work on this topic. It was worth doing because it is a public health issue. A number of doctors in A&E commented that they have seen a number of patients present with Nerf gun injuries. I personally saw a patient which an inflamed eye and damage to the iris following a ‘Nerf gun’ injury.

We decided to write about three patients with bleeding in the eye (hyphema) because most journals have a cap on the number of patients in a case series. Also, bleeding in the eye following trauma is known to be associated with serious ocular injury and long term repercussions. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Trauma to the eye from a ‘Nerf gun’ bullet can cause very serious eye injury, which has the potential to be irreversible. This is a public health concern. Use of protective eye equipment (e.g. goggles) should be advised. We wanted to make parents aware of the potential risk of having no eye protection. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: We would recommend that eye injuries that are more serious than the ones we have presented to be reported. This will further highlight the potential damage to the eye and vision from such injuries. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: ‘Nerf guns’ are projectile toys that many children enjoy playing with. There are a number of other toys out there with fast moving projectiles which may damage they eye at direct impact. The purpose of this case series is to raise awareness of the public of the importance of education (e.g. do not shoot at the head) and protective eyewear rather than to scare parents/guardians from children playing with these toys all together. Thank you for your contribution to the community.

Citation: Unexpected outcome (positive or negative) including adverse drug reactions:Nerf gun eye injuries: traumatic hyphema
Mukhtar Bizrah, Seema Verma
BMJ Case Reports 2017:published online 18 September 2017, doi:10.1136/bcr-2017-220967

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on September 19, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD