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Chemical Burns of the Eye

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.

An ambulance was dispatched to a local industry for a worker who had been sprayed in both eyes with brake fluid under pressure.  On scene, our paramedic inserted bilateral Morgan Lenses.  He proceeded to flush both eyes simultaneously with approximately 1500 cc N.S.S. on the way to the hospital.  The patient tolerated the entire procedure very well, felt much better, and an examination of the patient's eyes, after the Morgan Lens removal, showed no tissue damage.  The patient had a full recovery with no complications, thanks to the availability and efficiency of the Morgan Lens system.

Registered Nurse (New Hampshire)

MorTan Inc.

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 8719
Missoula, MT 59807
U.S.A.

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329 East Pine St
Missoula, MT 59802
U.S.A.

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Why Use The Morgan Lens?

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.