Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 108-110

Military marking round injury to the globe

1 Vanderbilt University School of Medicine; Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Vanderbilt Eye Institute, Nashville, TN, USA
2 Vanderbilt University School of Medicine; Medical Scientist Training Program, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN, USA

Correspondence Address:
Patrick James Donegan
2104 Natchez Trace, Nashville, TN 37212
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jets.jets_108_21

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Marking cartridges are an increasingly popular form of nonlethal training munitions used primarily for military live-fire simulations. We report a case of ocular trauma due to such a projectile, resulting in the complete loss of vision and placement of a scleral shell. A 20-year-old man presented with decreased visual acuity in his right eye after being struck at close range by a marking cartridge during military training. Computed tomography imaging revealed a retained metallic foreign body within a deflated right globe, prompting emergent exploration and repair of the right globe. Postoperative course was complicated by pain and pruritis which resolved over a period of months. Nonlethal weapons, such as marking cartridges, are increasingly used for civilian crowd control as well as military and law enforcement training. Despite guidelines mandating the use of personal protective equipment with marking cartridges, eye protection may not be consistently used during simulated combat exercises. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first formal report of ocular injury due to this type of ammunition. Based on this case, we discuss other similar types of nonlethal munition used by military and law enforcement, their risks to the eye and orbit, and what steps may be undertaken to reduce future injury.

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