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July 6, 1984

The Ocular Dangers of Bladeless Weed Trimmers

JAMA. 1984;252(1):43-44. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350010023009

To the Editor.—  A new garden tool involves the use of a rapidly spinning nylon cord, which is used to trim grass, weeds, and underbrush. At first glance, these tools seem safe, as no solid blades are used. However, the high rpm (6,000 to 8,500)1 throws out debris at a very high velocity. This report describes how the nylon cord itself can be a cause of significant injury.

Report of a Case.—  A 52-year-old woman was starting her weed trimmer. She noted immediate pain on the right side of her face and in her right eye and was treated at a local emergency room without delay. The following morning, she appeared at my office in marked distress. Her visual acuity was OD, light projection, and OS, 20/20. The left eye was normal. There was a serpentinelike superficial laceration of the skin over the right zygoma, which extended diagonally to