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Clinical Comparison of Ocular Irrigation Fluids Following Chemical Injury

Author: Herr RD, White GL Jr, Bernhisel K, Mamalis N, Swanson E

Journal: Am J Emerg Med 1991 May;9(3):228-31

Abstract: This study tested the hypothesis that four ocular irrigating solutions were equally irritating during copious irrigation. We conducted a prospective, double-blind study of patients with chemical exposure to the eye. Each underwent cross-over irrigation with all of the following in random order: normal saline (NS), lactated Ringer’s (LR), normal saline adjusted to pH 7.4 with sodium bicarbonate (NS + Bicarb), and Balanced Saline Solution Plus (BSS Plus, Alcon Laboratories, Fort Worth, TX). Compared with traditional NS and LR, NS + Bicarb tended to be more comfortable. BSS Plus was statistically superior (P less than .05) to NS and preferred over LR and NS + Bicarb. Three patients demanded discontinuance of NS or NS + Bicarb infusions. All solutions had comparable normalization of conjunctival pH and degree of injection. Alternate solutions including BSS Plus should be considered for use in those patients whose poor tolerance to normal saline threatens to delay or interrupt eye irrigation following a chemical injury.

MorTan Note: This study, done on patients with actual chemical burns, involved 11 patients and 12 eyes.

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.