A 40-year-old man from Thimphu was hit above his left ear by a traditional arrow during an archery match final yesterday at Changlimithang.

The man, health officials say, is recovering and is in stable condition at the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH).

JDWNRH’s urologist, Dr Lotey Tshering, who operated on the patient said the arrow had penetrated about two centimetres behind the victim’s eyeball and optic nerves. “Now the patient is in stable condition.”

Dr Lotey, however, said that there are chances of developing complications in the future, which could result in bleeding and abscess formation.

According to an official from Bhutan Indigenous Games and Sports Association (BIGSA), the arrow struck the victim while he was returning to a safety zone after showing the target to a player on the other end of the archery range. “The victim was rushed to the emergency with an arrow on his head,” the official said. The official also said that none of the parties were found at fault. “Since, the arrow struck the victim on his way back to the safety zone after showing the target, the shooter isn’t at fault,” he said.

Dr Lotey Tshering said the hospital attend patient s hit by an arrow every month. “With due respect to the nation game, necessary protection and safety should be in place.”

BIGSA claimed that this is the first time an arrow hit a participant during a traditional archery match this year. “We also give adequate safety awareness programs to ensure safety to the participants and audience,” the official said.

Ugyen Dorji