Skip to the content

Emergency Treatment of Chemical and Thermal Eye Burns

Author: Kuckelkorn R, Schrage N, Keller G, Redbrake C. Department of Opgthalmology, Universitatsklinikum der RWTH Aachen, Germany.

Journal: Acta Ophthalmol Scand. 2002 Feb;80(1):4-10.

Abstract: Chemical and thermal eye burns account for a small but significant fraction of ocular trauma. The speed at which initial irrigation of the eye begins, has the greatest influence on the prognosis and outcome of eye burns. Water is commonly recommended as an irrigation fluid. However, water is hypotonic to the corneal stroma. The osmolarity gradient causes an increased water influx into the corneal structures. We therefore recommend higher osmolarities for the initial rinsing to mobilize water and the dissolved corrosives out of the burnt tissue. Universal systems such as amphoteric solutions, which have an unspecific binding with bases and acids, provide a convenient solution for emergency neutralisation. Both conservative anti-inflammatory therapy and early surgical intervention are important to reduce the inflammatory response of the burnt tissue. In most severe eye burns, tenonplasty re-establishes the conjunctival surface and limbal vascularity and prevents anterior segment necrosis.

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.

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

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

Toll-Free Telephone1-800-423-8659
Telephone: 406-728-2522
Fax: 
406-728-9332

Emailmortan@morganlens.com

Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM MT

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.