- The man had been working on a construction site but was not wearing goggles
- Malaysian medics said he was very lucky not to suffer any nerve damage
Surgeons had to remove a 3cm nail from a man’s brain after he accidentally fired a nail gun through his eye.
Sharing gory details of the freak incident in a medical journal, doctors in Malaysia told how the unidentified 30-year-old temporarily lost his sight.
The man, who had been working on a construction site, was not wearing protective goggles while using the nail gun.
After the power tool jammed, he looked straight down the gun barrel to check it, then mistakenly discharged it.
It missed his left eyeball by millimetres but still penetrated the front section of his brain, fracturing his eye socket.
Miraculously, medics managed to remove the nail completely and said he was very lucky not to have suffered nerve damage or lost his eye.
Sharing gory details of the incident in a medical journal, medics in Malaysia told how the unidentified 30-year-old temporarily lost his sight. The man, who had been working on a construction site, had not been wearing protective goggles. After his nail gun jammed, he checked the gun barrel before mistakenly discharging the power tool
It missed his left eyeball by millimetres but still penetrated the frontal lobe of his brain, fracturing his eye socket. Medics, however, removed the nail completely. Experts said he was very lucky not to suffer nerve damage or lose his eye
Upon arrival at Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah in Alor Setar, on the west coast of the country, the man’s eye was painful, bleeding and swollen.
He was immediately given a tetanus jab, antibiotics through a drip and anti-seizure medication.
Medics found extensive bleeding under the surface of and in the front chamber of the eye. He was also unable to see light through the left eye.
X-ray and CT scans of his skull showed the nail had penetrated the frontal lobe of the brain — an area vital for movement and language.
It had then caused bleeding, which had extended to neighbouring brain regions.
Remarkably, it had missed vital arteries and nerves, preventing long-term nerve damage.
The man was rushed into emergency surgery, where medics successfully removed the nail in one piece, along with damaged tissue, stitched up the wound and repaired his eyelid.
The man spent five days in intensive care before he was discharged.
Writing in the journal Cureus, doctors said: ‘He recovered well during his postoperative period with no neurological deficit.’
However, he was still unable to shut his eye properly a week after surgery and could not see light through the left eye.
Medics don’t know how his recovery continued, as he returned to his unidentified home country for further care.
Injuries that penetrate the brain and eye are known medically as transorbital-penetrating intracranial injuries (TOPI).
Studies have shown the injury can prove fatal in a third of cases, even when timely surgery is performed, rising to more than half (53 per cent) when surgery is delayed.
While often life-threatening, many TOPI cases are preventable by through education and workplace safety measures.
The medics urged workers to wear proper PPE including safety goggles and helmets.
‘Adequate personal protective equipment should be provided by the employers, as well as proper training and demonstration on safe handling of the tools for the workers in order to prevent work-related injuries,’ they said.