December 2002
Volume 43, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   December 2002
Prospective Evaluation of Air Bag Related Ocular Injuries
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • RK Hemady
    University of Maryland Baltimore MD
  • TJ Kerns
    National Study Center
    University of Maryland Baltimore MD
  • AL Sobol
    University of Maryland Baltimore MD
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   R.K. Hemady, None; T.J. Kerns, None; A.L. Sobol, None. Grant Identification: Supported in part by Research To Prevent Blindness
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science December 2002, Vol.43, 3056. doi:
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      RK Hemady, TJ Kerns, AL Sobol; Prospective Evaluation of Air Bag Related Ocular Injuries . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):3056.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract: : Purpose:To prospectively determine the nature and course of serious ocular and adnexal injuries secondary to air bag deployment following motor vehicle accidents (MVA) at the University of Maryland at Baltimore Shock Trauma Center (UMAB-STC). Methods: All patients presenting to UMAB-STC with ocular or adnexal injuries from a MVA with air bag deployment between July 1989 and June 1999 underwent complete ocular evaluation. Serious injuries from air bag deployment were defined as those leading to loss of vision or damaging the structural integrity of the globe or adnexa. Results: During the study period, 146 patients presented following a MVA with air bag deployment. Of these, 11 individulas (12 eyes) had serious ocular injuries. Seven individuals were females, 4 were males. Mean age was 42 years (range, 16-74). Four were not using seat belts. Ten were drivers, one was a front seat passenger. The right eye was involved in 7, left eye in 3, one was bilateral. Presenting vision was hand motions in 4 eyes, count fingers in 2, 20/80 in one, and 20/40 or better in 5. Final vision was hand motions in one eye, 20/100-20/400 in 3, and 20/30 or better in 8. Injuries included 6 orbital fractures, 5 hyphemas, 2 each with lid lacerations, dislocated lenses, commotio retinae, and secondary glaucoma, and one each with alkali burn, choroidal rupture, optic neuropathy, sixth nerve palsy, and corneal abrasion. Five eyes required surgical intervention. Conclusion: Air bag deployment after a MVA can lead to serious ocular injuries and permanent vision loss. In this study, right eyes were more commonly affected, and seat belts were not protective.

Keywords: 354 clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: prevalence/incidence • 608 trauma • 620 visual acuity 

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