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February 1996

Frostbite of the Eyelids Following Inappropriate Application of Ice Compresses

Author Affiliations

Minneapolis, Minn

Arch Ophthalmol. 1996;114(2):226. doi:10.1001/archopht.1996.01100130220025

Frostbite due to ice therapy involving the eyelids has not been reported previously. We herein present a case of eyelid frostbite resulting from inappropriate application of ice compresses to the eyelids following blunt injury.

Report of a Case.  A 24-year-old man presented to the emergency department after having been assaulted. He stated that he had been punched and kicked in the face. A 3-cm laceration was present below the left eye. Bilateral upper and lower eyelid swelling was noted. A computed tomographic scan revealed bilateral comminuted fractures of the nasal bones and a fracture of the nasal septum. The laceration was sutured. The patient was discharged and instructed to use ice compresses to reduce swelling.The patient returned home and applied ice compresses (frozen water, not dry ice) to his eyes. Because he was intoxicated, he fell asleep, and the ice compresses remained in place overnight, secured by a towel

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