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Eyes on the target: band-associated ocular injury in military training
  1. Itay Nitzan1,2,
  2. B Cohen1,
  3. I Akavian1,
  4. O Shmueli3 and
  5. D Heller1,2
  1. 1 Israel Defense Forces, Ramat Gan, Israel
  2. 2 Department of Military Medicine and 'Tzameret', Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
  3. 3 Department of Ophthalmology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
  1. Correspondence to Dr Itay Nitzan, Israel Defense Forces, Ramat Gan, Israel; itay.nitzan{at}

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A healthy 18-year-old female combat cadet sustained an ocular injury while performing upper-body strength exercises as part of the military basic training programme. Rubber bands are used to attenuate the force applied by soldiers during these exercises, allowing for a more gradual progression through training (Figure 1). During a set of assisted bar pull-ups, the soldier was abruptly struck by the unexpected release of the band, which propelled towards her face. Following the impact, the soldier promptly reported experiencing sharp pain, blurred vision and a burning sensation in her right eye. On arrival at the military base clinic several minutes after the event, the patient had tachycardia (105 beats/min) with all other vital signs within normal limits. General inspection of the eye revealed erythema of the right upper eyelid, and no gross abnormalities were observed in the anterior chamber. The soldier was urgently referred for further evaluation in a nearby hospital, arriving at an ophthalmologist examination within 1 hour …

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  • Contributors IN wrote the first full draft and all authors contributed to revising the following drafts. BC was involved in the care of the patient mentioned in this report. All authors approved the final manuscript before submission.

  • 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; internally peer reviewed.