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October 1980

Blindness After Frontal Sinus Irrigation

Arch Otolaryngol. 1980;106(10):655. doi:10.1001/archotol.1980.00790340063020

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To the Editor.—The following is a comment about blindness after frontal sinus irrigation described in the article by Thompson et al in the June Archives (106:358-360, 1980).

The authors report a disastrous complication, which, in my opinion, can easily be avoided. It is well known that even in maxillary antral irrigations, the soft tissues of the anterior part of the face sometimes swell because of a misguided needle. In the soft tissues of the face, this is of only minimal consequence and the infection resolves in several days.

As far as the frontal sinus is concerned, if the connection between the syringe and the sinus is correct and the pressure is not excessive, the injection of fluid into the sinus should be readily returned. If, however, the tissues form a tight seal around the irrigating tube, it is very possible that under pressure a weakened or absent sinus

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