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A blinding eye injury caused by chasing Pokémon

Maria Franchina, Swati Sinkar, Boon Ham and Geoffrey C Lam
Med J Aust 2017; 206 (9): 384. || doi: 10.5694/mja16.01046

We report a case of serious injury playing Pokémon GO. A 14-year-old boy, distracted by this popular mobile phone game, fell and completely lost vision in his left eye. Only a dense relative afferent pupillary defect was present initially. A computed tomography scan showed a mildly impacted and laterally angulated fracture of the lateral wall of the left orbit just posterior to the zygomatico-sphenoid suture (Figure, A, arrow). The ipsilateral optic nerve and optic canal is normal in appearance, with no bony fragment causing impingement and no globe injury. Two days after the injury, a central retinal artery occlusion was present. A fundus photograph of the patient’s left eye (Figure, B) showed a thrombus within the central retinal artery bifurcation at the disc (Figure, B, arrow), typical retinal pallor (Figure, B, a) and a “cherry-red” spot (Figure, B, b). Occurrence of both traumatic optic neuropathy and vessel occlusions is rare, but may result from indirect nerve injury from orbital trauma.1 In addition, acute stretching of retinal vessels may initiate thrombosis.2 Our case again highlights the dangers of mobile phone distraction.

  • Maria Franchina
  • Swati Sinkar
  • Boon Ham
  • Geoffrey C Lam

  • Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Perth, WA


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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