Halloween 'Egging' Can Cause Severe Eye Injuries

Medical community urged to counter the notion that egg-lobbing is a harmless prank

FRIDAY, Sept. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The common Halloween practice of throwing raw eggs can result in severe eye injuries, according to a study published online Sept. 22 in Emergency Medicine Journal. Because of its dimensions and weight, a thrown egg can cause severe blunt injury to the orbital rim, the authors note.

Jon Durnian, Ph.D., of St. Paul's Eye Unit at Royal Liverpool University Hospital in the U.K., and colleagues studied 13 ocular injuries that were attributed to assault with a raw egg.

The researchers found that all 13 patients suffered closed-globe injuries caused by eggs thrown by strangers. They classified eight injuries as major, two as intermediate and three as minor. On presentation, only one patient had unaffected visual acuity. Although 12 of the patients recovered, one suffered permanent, severe visual loss.

"Obviously, you cannot educate people against throwing objects at each other; you rely on their common sense," the authors conclude. "However, the recent advertising stunt by a leading [U.K.] supermarket in re-branding their eggs as mischief eggs must at least be considered to be irresponsible and at worst almost incitement to this type of assault. The medical community should expect those with most access to the nation's conscience -- advertisers, retailers and TV program makers -- to act in a responsible manner against these and other easily preventable injuries."

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