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Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology
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CASE REPORT
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 196-199

Rethinking airbag safety: Airbag injury causing bilateral blindness


1 Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine/University College Hospital, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
2 Department of Pathology, College of Medicine/University College Hospital, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Olufunmilola Abimbola Ogun
Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine/University College Hospital, University of Ibadan, Ibadan
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-9233.129777

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A healthy 40-year-old man, restrained in the front passenger seat, suffered visually disabling blunt ocular trauma following spontaneous release of the passenger side air-bag module, during vehicular deceleration, without an automobile crash. Though the driver-side airbag was also released, the driver was unharmed. The passenger suffered bilateral hyphema, bilateral vitreous hemorrhage and suspected posterior scleral rupture in the left eye and also had an eyebrow laceration, from impact with the dashboard panel covering the air-bag module, which was detached by the force of airbag deployment. This is the first reported case from West Africa and the first case in which part of the airbag module detached to cause additional trauma. This report adds to the growing burden of evidence world-wide, for a review of the safety aspects of the automobile airbag. This case clearly illustrates that although airbags reduce mortality, they carry a high risk of ocular morbidity, even with seat belt restraint.


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