Shotgun pellets and its morbidity on eyes: A hospital based study from one of the two referral ophthalmology centers of J&K state
Suraya Kounser, Khurshid Ahmad Ganaie
Objective: The uncontrolled use of the shotgun pellets in the valley has blinded thousands of civilians in the last decade of continuous mob violence. Our main objective of this study was to evaluate the extent of the morbidity on the eyes due to continuous use of pellets by law enforcing agencies of the state on the street protesters. Methods: This was a prospective hospital based study in which a total of 412 patients were included for analyses irrespective of their age, sex, occupation, ethnicity, residence. All these patients were received in the accidental and emergency department of our institution after being fired with pellets. Results: The mean age of our patients was 18.9 years with SD of 8.6 years. The age ranged from 7-46 years. In this study males were 367 (89%) and females were 45 (11%). Out of total 412 patients, 334 (81%) were in the age group of 15-25 years. Among all the victims right eye was involved in 190 (46%) cases, left eye in 177 (43%) and 45 (11%) cases presented with bilateral involvement. Maximum number of patients 284 (69%) out of 412 were having penetrating type of injury and the main site of injury was cornea found in 169 (41%) of patients. Out of total 412 cases vitreous hemorrhage was recorded in 268 (65%) of cases. 346 (84%) of cases were having foreign body (projectile) in the eyes at the time of presentation. Conclusion: Security agencies introduced shotgun pellets as non lethal weapon, but the ground reality proved it contrary to that, the main reason being that security personnel were not at the very first properly trained how to use the shot gun pellets.