WARNING! GRAPHIC IMAGES AHEAD
A woman got a plaited hair extension stuck in her eye socket after her sister stabbed her in the face with a shard of glass and blinded her.
The gruesome injury ended up with a doctor having to tug out the weapon and the strand of hair with a pair of forceps.
The unnamed 37-year-old, from the Delta State in Nigeria, was in an ‘anxious state’, doctors said, because of the gaping wound in her cheek.
She was given local anaesthetic and surgeons pulled out the shard which had left her unable to see, then stitched up the cuts on her eyelids.
A doctor from the Delta State University, near Lagos on the southern coast of the African nation, reported the woman’s predicament in the journal BMJ Case Reports.
Her right eye was producing excessive amounts of fluid and intensely red, the report said, but her eyeball was mostly intact.
However, she suffered ‘irreversible’ damage to her cornea – the front of her eye – leaving it blinded and useless.
The section of hair – believed to have been sliced off the woman’s weave during the attack – were sticking out of a diagonal slash beneath her eye.
The doctor did not include any details of the woman’s argument with her sister or any other injuries sustained in the vicious fight.
Dr Mabel Okiemute Etetafia’s report suggests the woman’s hair was hanging in front of her face and the plait became caught on the end of the glass during the stabbing.
It was then driven into the flesh beneath her eye and pinned there by a piece of glass which broke off what is presumed to be a bottle or drinking glass.
‘The cause of the retention of the woven artificial hair on the face was not initially clear,’ Dr Etetafia wrote.
‘Although the patient had similar strands on her hair the flexible nature of the strands further posed a challenge to the cause of the retention.
‘The mechanism that introduced the woven artificial hair strands … is not clear but it is most likely that the hair was on the path of penetration of the broken glass at the time of the stab injury.’
Doctors struggled to work out how deep the wound was and how much glass was left in because the woman could not afford a high-tech CT scan.
Instead they used X-rays to examine her skull, which was considered a less accurate way to diagnose the injury.
And doctors filmed the removal process in a stomach-churning video in which forceps were used to forcibly lever out the hair and piece of glass.
Injuries of this kind can be life-threatening, Dr Etetafia added, because they are so close to vital body parts like blood vessels and the brain.
However, the woman’s wound was considered to be in a ‘superficial’ location and not posing any immediate threat to her life.
And after the glass and hair were removed and the cuts stitched up, the woman did not have further complications besides being blinded in the affected eye.
Dr Etetafia said: ‘Retained foreign bodies following penetrating trauma may pose a difficult diagnostic problem.
‘[This is] due to several factors such as the difficult access, the inflammatory response of the tissues around, the size of the object and a close anatomic relationship to vital structures, which may put patients’ lives at risk.’
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Sam Blanchard