REBEL Core Cast 42.0 – Orbital Compartment Syndrome

Take Home Points

  • Trauma resulting in a retrobulbar hemorrhage can lead to orbital compartment syndrome which is a vision threatening injury
  • Diagnosis is made clinically based on the presence of an afferent pupillary defect, vision loss and an intraocular pressure > 40 mm Hg
  • Treatment is with a lateral canthotomy – a simple but mentally daunting procedure

REBEL Core Cast 42.0 – Orbital Compartment Syndrome


Post Peer Reviewed By: Salim R. Rezaie, MD (Twitter: @srrezaie)

Cite this article as: Anand Swaminathan, "REBEL Core Cast 42.0 – Orbital Compartment Syndrome", REBEL EM blog, October 14, 2020. Available at:
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Anand Swaminathan

Clinical Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at St. Joe's Regional Medical Center (Paterson, NJ)
REBEL EM Associate Editor and Author

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3 thoughts on “REBEL Core Cast 42.0 – Orbital Compartment Syndrome”

  1. very excellent Anand. I have performed this procedure only twice, and I personally find it quite disturbing, with flashbacks of the 1929 film by Bunuel “Un Chien Andalou” (though obviously essential ). It seems to rarely be as “simple” as some videos show, like on cadavers.
    the patient is often a trauma patient, altered on some substance or substances, and the involved eye is like some horror out of a Rocky Balboa flic, terribly swollen. except that its not a flick, and its 3am and the patient is screaming, or not. but it is eye-saving and essential.

    thank you Anand, Jessi Mason, and Salim

    tom fiero


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