An 11-year-old male presented to a pediatric trauma center following a motor vehicle collision (MVC). He was the restrained front-seat passenger when his vehicle was struck head-on, causing frontal airbag deployment. His primary complaint was pain around his right eye with associated blurry vision. He denied diplopia, pain with extraocular movements, flashers, floaters, or curtains in his vision.
While the use of airbags has long been associated with a reduction in MVC mortality, the incidence of ocular-related airbag trauma has been well described in ophthalmologic literature [1-6]. Airbag-related injuries include alkali burns, lens dislocation, corneal abrasions, traumatic cataracts, globe rupture, and others.
Most modern airbags are equipped with a nylon bag that deploys upon vehicle impact and can cause significant facial injury. This is the likely cause of the textured honeycombed corneal abrasion in our patient described above. Airbag-related eye injuries have been found to be exceedingly rare when the vehicle occupant survives the incident and a restraint system was used appropriately .
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