A patient goes through free eye surgery at the Phyo charity clinic in Yangon.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The number of severe wounds to the eyes of soldiers during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza last year was significantly reduced because they were equipped with protective goggles recommended by Soroka-University Medical Center ophthalmologists.
This finding is to be reported this week at a Soroka research meeting in which medical teams present 350 new studies at the hospital.
In a retrospective study of IDF soldiers who were admitted to the Beersheba hospital with damage to their eyes during the war with Gaza, it was found that most of the injuries were due to blast and shrapnel wounds of different severity, with the entrance of foreign bodies into the eye.
They were typical of ophthalmic injuries in urban settings.
As a result of the risks of warfare in urban areas, Soroka doctors warned the IDF Medical Corps during the conflict that soldiers going into Gaza should be equipped with protective goggles. More than 10 percent of all injuries in military conflicts usually involve the eyes. During the operation in July and August 2014, Soroka treated the eyes of 20 soldiers, 70% of whose injuries were in both eyes.
Blast injuries were the cause of 55% of the wounds. In 33 eyes (97%), there was shrapnel.
There were foreign objects stuck in four eyes. Four soldiers arrived with perforation of their eyes and required emergency surgery.
But the team found that one soldier who survived the same blasts wearing goggles suffered only superficial injuries, including first-degree burns.
The Soroka ophthalmologists thus strongly recommend the wearing of the goggles during war, especially in urban battles.