Article Text

Download PDFPDF
First description of a retrobulbar haemorrhage in a paediatric patient
  1. Hirvi Hindocha and
  2. Sarah Edwards
  1. Emergency Department, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sarah Edwards; drsarahedwards{at}


An 8-year-old girl presented to the paediatric emergency department 3 days after left orbital exploration for an orbital floor fracture. She had been vomiting for the last 24 hours and her mother’s primary reason for presentation was that she was unable to keep down any analgesia . She reported pain in that eye and was unable to see. On examination, the eye was swollen and had yellow discharge. A CT scan was performed to rule out an infective collection and, unexpectedly, showed a retrobulbar haematoma. Ophthalmology was called and she was immediately taken to theatre for a lateral canthotomy for decompression. Fortunately, she regained her vision following this but, had the retrobulbar haematoma not been recognised urgently, she may have lost her vision permanently in that eye. Retrobulbar haematomas are quite rare in children this age and there is very little published literature on this topic.

  • emergency medicine
  • trauma
  • ophthalmology
  • paediatrics

Statistics from


  • Twitter @drsarahedwards

  • Contributors HH and SE were both involved in the patient case. HH wrote the intial draft and SE has helped with multiple redrafts.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.