Pokemon GO has been out for almost a year, and its explosion in popularity has led to countless accidents across the globe: people have crashed cars, gotten into shootouts, and have even been lured away and robbed all due to the application’s GPS-based gameplay bringing players outdoors. Now, the Medical Journal of Australia is citing an accident in which a 14 year old boy from Washington has completely lost sight in one eye after an accident that happened in conjunction with Pokemon GO.
The young trainer was reportedly so engrossed in what was happening on his mobile phone that he lost his footing, tripped, and fell over unexpectedly. The report doesn’t detail whether he his eye came into contact with something as he fell, or if he simply fell directly to the ground and impacted his eye, but the end result is the same: the 14-year-old sustained an afferent pupillary defect, which means his pupil was responding to light in an improper way due to some optic nerve damage sustained from the fall. Things soon got much worse, as the afflicted eye’s impaired vision turned to complete blindness just a few days later.
Here’s the official report from the Medical Journal of Australia:
We report a case of serious injury playing Pokémon GO. A 14-year-old boy, distracted by this popular mobile phone game, fell and completely lost vision in his left eye. Only a dense relative afferent pupillary defect was present initially. A computed tomography scan showed a mildly impacted and laterally angulated fracture of the lateral wall of the left orbit just posterior to the zygomatico-sphenoid suture
While the medical journey entry is understandably full of jargon that the average person may not understand, it’s obvious that this injury ended up being fairly traumatic and much more permanent than a typical fall. The latest (and likely not the last) Pokemon GO injury just goes to show how quickly things can escalate, and how important it is to be careful when simultaneously navigating an environment and playing a mobile application.
Ultimately, the poor teenager will likely never see out of that eye again without surgical intervention – though at least this accident was one of the ones which didn’t end in a fatality. It goes without saying that intrepid Pokemon GO players should always be aware of their surroundings, and those who can’t avoid sneaking glimpses at the application while on-the-go may want to invest in a Pokemon GO Plus bracelet to eliminate the temptation entirely.
Pokemon GO is available now on iOS and Android devices.
Source: The Medical Journal of Australia