Saturday, April 21, 2007

You'll Shoot Your Eye Out

Young Ralphie Parker wanted a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas and he eventually got one (click the title of the post to read about Ralphie). He nearly shot his eye out as his mother and his teacher (Miss Shields) had warned.

I took care of a young man recently who was shot in the eye at close range by a 'friend' with a BB gun. You can see the BB lodged in the right orbit in the Xray. The kid had light perception only from this eye and he had an 'open globe injury' meaning the eye itself was punctured. Other physical findings of note; a misshapen pupil, severe pain, a large hyphema, and a large scleral laceration that carried into the inferior outer portion of the cornea.

I called our eye surgeon immediately and he came in. He was unable to operate on this young man as, on CT scan, the missile was shown to be deep in the vitreous of the globe. The patient was transferred by ambulance to the nearest facility with a retinal surgeon on call. Hopefully he will do well but it is unlikely that he will ever regain full vision in the injured eye.

Trivia: What was the red-haired bully's name in A Christmas Story?

Scut Farkus.


  1. It's scary these days that kids think nothing of shooting each other. And I'm not saying anything about gun control here---I'm just bitching about the fact that parents wonder why this kind of stuff happens but yet they let their kids play video games which have them in blood & guts shoot-outs and knifings, watch endless hours of TV with equally horrible violence----and then there's my personal gripe, which is how young people are allowed to flock to the latest fad of teenage fright-movies which show nothing but plot-less blood & guts torture/cutting up people. Hell, those movies would TRAUMATIZE me if I watched them, and I'm an ex-ER nurse....

    rant over...

  2. I am lucky to have my eyes. My brother and I in a moment of brilliance only 10 and 11 year old have, used to take our red riders and play chicken. We would stand 50 ft apart and shoot near each other. The first one to move was the chicken. I was hit a few times, but I won.

  3. By God, that is so tragic. While I'd never wish blindness on anyone, I have to wonder what this little fart is doing owning a BB gun. He has an obvious brain and common sense defect. Sigh...I'd make a lousy doctor. I'd be too busy shaking my finger at them and grounding them for life.

  4. dear lynn,
    i don't have the whole story but this was a kid from the projects and the police were involved immediately. iow, i don't believe this was a tragic accident, more of a tragic crime.

  5. Slightly unrelated to the wounding, but it amuses me to find someone who knows who Scott Farkus is. One of our Pulmonary Docs looks like a grown up Farkus, and it makes me giggle to see him. Unfortunately, nobody at my hospital knows what I'm talking about. Thanks for the great reads...

  6. dear 'special sauce',
    thanks for the props. obtw, at least according to the website, the character's name was 'scut' not scott.