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Chemical Injuries to the eyes. Emergency, intermediate, and long term care

Author: Nelson JD, Kopietz LA.

Publication: Postgrad Med. 1987 Mar;81 (4):62-6, 69-71, 75

The first step in treatment of chemical injuries to the eyes is immediate, thorough, and if necessary, prolonged irrigation. Ophthalmologic consultation should be obtained early in the course of treatment, and in severe injuries an anterior chamber tap (paracentesis) may be of benefit. Topical cycloplegics and antibiotics should be administered and a “bandage” contact lens placed to protect the corneal epithelium. If the eyelid is involved, care must be taken to protect the cornea and provide a moist local environment. Long-term care of a severely injured eye is fraught with difficulties, including glaucoma and recurrent corneal ulcerations.

While beginning to wear contact lenses, I had an experience which the use of the Morgan Lens saved the day.


I was just finishing a sixteen-hour shift as manager and staff nurse of the ED when I was notified that they had received a bomb threat.  Disaster situation were part of my duties, so I went into action.  By 4:00 AM, I realized I still had my contacts in.  So I got a container and soaked them in an eye solution from our eye tray.  I arrived home with enough time to take a quick nap before returning to work for another sixteen-hour shift.  When I put my contacts in, I felt like someone had placed a hot poker into my eyes.  I took the contacts out, but my eyes continued to burn and were also fire engine red.  I did report to work at 7:00 AM but my eyes continued to burn.  I then decided the best thing I could do was to irrigate, so I placed a Morgan lens into both eyes and irrigated with 1000 cc of lactated Ringer's.  Laying down during the irrigation process was relaxing and I felt no discomfort while my eyes were irrigated.  After the process, the burning was relieved and I was able to complete my shift without further discomfort.

Registered Nurse (South Carolina)

MorTan Inc.

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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.