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Severe penetrating injury due to a burst compact disc in a child
  1. University Eye Hospital Eppendorf, Martinistrasse 52, D-20251 Hamburg, Germany Correspondence to: Dr Bialasiewicz.

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    Editor,—Compact discs have evolved as valuable tools in education and communication.1 Although the material is rigid due to several layers of metals and a hard lacquered surface, ocular penetrating injuries2 caused by compact discs have not been reported to our knowledge.


    A 9 year old boy complained of sudden visual loss after trying to bend his father’s educational compact disc at home (Fig 1). He presented with an 8.5 mm (para)central corneal laceration on his left eye extending into two T-shaped lacerations in the pupillary axis. The anterior lens capsule was opened like a “can opener”, the posterior capsule destroyed, and the vitreous prolapsed.x Ray did not reveal an intraocular foreign body, and ultrasound excluded a retinal detachment. Since keratoplasty à chaud was refused by the parents tedious suturing of the cornea was followed by aspiration of lens fragments via a scleral tunnel, and anterior vitrectomy and pcIOL implantation was performed (Fig 2). The clinical course was unremarkable. Postoperative visual acuity was +2.5 sph = 20/200, and a corneal graft was further discussed with the parents.

    Figure 1

    Educational compact disc burst into sharp-edged splinters after extreme bending by a 9 year old child. Warnings should be attached to CD cases.

    Figure 2

    An 8.5 mm corneal linear and two T-shaped cuts are sutured, lens aspiration, anterior vitrectomy, and pcIOL performed. VA left eye 20/200. Keratoplasty as been advised.


    Hard lacquered compact discs may result in bursting if compressed horizontally. Compact discs may pose a major risk for severe penetrating injuries in children trying to bend them. We suggest that compact discs should be stored away from children, and we propose that appropriate warnings for children not to attempt to bend the material should be attached to CD cases.


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