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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.
I can testify to a positive experience with the Morgan Lens. Patient: myself. I had a patient who regurgitated the charcoal given to him for his OD, just after I had removed my protective face mask. I sustained an eyeful of activated charcoal. It was removed almost painlessly by several liters of N.S. irrigation via the Morgan Lens, much more easily than the "old way" of using fingers to open lids and squirting the eye.Physician (Virginia)
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.