Thanks to Thumpy I recently learned that there are finally published accounts of penetrating airsoft injuries, including penetrating eye injuries. I have spent five years running medline searches for published accounts before finally seeing them. The first to I have found are:
Penetrating ocular trauma from airsoft gun.
Adyanthaya R – Arch Ophthalmol – 01-JUL-2012; 130(7): 944-5
It would appear that articles are out there on the subject. They appear in specialty journals. There are journals specific to a particular practice of medicine like Ophthalmology or Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. These are a little harder to catch than the big ones that cover everything like the New England Journal of Medicine or the Journal of the American Medical Association. Airsoft injuries are small potatoes compared to the types of subjects the major general medical journals cover. Airsoft injuries are much less common that many other common sources of penetrating injury, so you don’t see much about it. These titles have been hard to find, thanks to the effective use of proper eye and face protection by the majority of players and safe limits on engagement distances and muzzle velocity in games.
We do not yet have the specifications published by the ASTM for eye protection in airsoft, but it is on its way. The last I heard they were just fine-tuning the language in preparation for publication.