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Author: Denise Ramponi, DNP, FNP-C, ENP-BC, FAEN, FAANP, CEN
Publication: Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal, Volume 39, Number 3, pp. 193-198
Chemical burns of the eye are one of the most common eye injuries. The extent of the ocular surface damage is influenced by the type, temperature, volume, and pH of the corrosive substance and duration of exposure. Limbal ischemia found on eye assessment is the primary determinant of eventual visual outcome. Eye irrigation must be instituted immediately at the scene of exposure and continued in the emergency department to reduce visual impairment. Traditional lactated Ringer’s and normal saline have been used as irrigation fluids, although one systemic review demonstrates similar outcomes with other irrigation fluids. The Morgan Lens is a device that can be utilized to allow the provider to perform “hands-free” eye irrigation. Complications of chemical burns are more common with alkali burns as these substances destroy the corneal epithelium and allow this corrosive base substance to penetrate deeper into the cornea.
While working at Bethlehem Steel, I had many opportunities to use the Morgan Lens. The employees frequently splashed solutions into their eyes. The Morgan Lens helped us irrigate their eyes promptly and efficiently. We could seat belt the employee/patient into the van, check his eyes, pop in the Morgan Lens, hook up the I.V. bag. While transporting him to the dispensary, his eyes were being irrigated. Prompt irrigation with the Morgan Lens in route to the dispensary helps prevent eye damage.Registered Nurse (Maryland)
The Morgan Lens is used in 90% of hospital emergency departments in the USA and can be inserted in less than 20 seconds. There simply is no other "hands-free" method of eye irrigation. Nothing else frees medical personnel to treat other injuries or to transport the patient while irrigation is underway. Nothing is more effective at treating ocular chemical, thermal, and actinic burns or removing non-embedded foreign bodies, even when the patient's eyes are closed tightly. Its design makes it simple and straightforward to use so minimal training is required.