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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.

The Oslo University Eye Department has used the Morgan Lens for 16 years.  We use it in all emergency cases and find that it gives the patients better chances than without this equipment.  In fact, we have reduced the need for hospitalization for more than one night for these patients, and the recovery without scars and permanent loss of visions is far better than without it.  Usually, we don't give our recommendations for products like this, but we have been so happy with the Morgan Lens that we would like to recommend it to all ophthalmologists.  Their patients will benefit from its use.

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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.