Blood in a Baby's Eye

Blood in a Baby's Eye

I have to cover the emergency room and hospital consults periodically at the hospital.  It’s really a pain.  Most consults aren’t really “emergency,” but that’s how it goes.  When it comes to kids, though, the findings are usually pretty grave and I am only too happy to see them.

I saw a young baby yesterday at the request of the pediatric service.  There were concerns about the baby’s change in mental status.  I determined that she had a vitreous hemorrhage and retinal hemorrhages in one eye.   Unfortunately, there is really only one cause for these hemorrhages in an infant.  It is known as shaken baby syndrome, or, more subtlely non-accidental trauma.  Usually only the eye findings are sufficient to launch an investigation.

An MRI also found some bleeding near the brain and some fractured ribs.  The case will now be reviewed by Child Protective Services.  The bleeding in the eye was not too bad and probably doesn’t need any treatment as it should resolve on its own.  Obviously, not this child’s biggest obstacle.

Many of you may know I have 5 kids.  I wasn’t feeling too well while writing my report.  A nurse sitting next to me said, “Be happy for this one, she is in the system.  It’s the one’s we don’t see that are the saddest.”

There is always a silver lining.


Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Retina Specialist/Ophthalmologist

  • Happy
    Posted at 08:52h, 13 September Reply

    I have baby girl (9months) , yesterday night my hand thumb fingure was strikes unfortunately to my baby eye ball afterwards 3-4 drops of blood came from eye and it was mixed with eye tears. then immediately we went to hospital (10min) then doctor was does not find anything(scratches, marks and etc.) and wrote the eye drops but we did not use any eye drops on the day but she is active and she is playing. so here my doubt is why the blood came from eye ball? please provide more details about this issue and is there any issue in the future?

  • D.
    Posted at 20:33h, 13 June Reply

    how long do the hemorrhage last or get absorbed due to baby shaken syndrome? i have been searching and answer but i cant seem to find a straight answer.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 14:20h, 12 July Reply


      Depends upon where the blood originates….and quantity.

      Usually in a matter of weeks.


Post A Comment