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Go With The Flow During an Eye Emergency

Author: Denise Ramponi, RN, CEN, CRNP, MSN

Publication: Nursing2000, Volume 30, Number 8

This article presents the use of the Morgan Lens using text and photographs, as well as providing general information on chemical eye burns. The introduction to the article is presented below:

“YOU’RE WORKING in the emergency department and receive a call from the lab: A technologist in the chemistry department has splashed acetic acid solution in her right eye and is on her way down. You quickly grab your eye emergency equipment.

When someone gets a chemical in her eye, you can help prevent damage to the cornea by irrigating the eye and restoring its normal pH. You could do this by prying open her eyelids and administering a flush solution through intravenous (IV) tubing, but this technique calls for constant attention and the use of both hands. Fortunately, you have another option.

In this article, I’ll review how to use the Morgan Lens, a molded plastic device that fits over the eye and through which you can flush irrigating solution. When properly placed, the Morgan lens rests between the cornea and the eyelid and solution instilled through the attached tubing irrigates both surfaces. Continuously bathed with fluid, the cornea remains untouched by the lens itself.”

Three Army soldiers were on their way to us following an explosion of an improvised device.  The driver had goggles on and suffered extensive facial trauma and all three had eye injuries from the debris that hit them.  We got bilateral Morgan Lenses in all three and flushed each with several liters of LR.  Followed with antibiotics, they were rebandaged and on an emergency air evacuation that evening.  These men were grateful for the care they received.  The technicians and physicians here are thankful that everyone knew what to do to get the lens system set up and running.  I am grateful to you for the opportunity to access the class online and ability to present it shortly after we arrived.  One of the others did have a corneal laceration that we could assess after flushing.  We feel confident that all will have the best outcomes thanks to the Morgan Lens use.

We also had a patient who experienced an electrical explosion (a generator) to his face.  We used Morgan Lenses to irrigate his eyes and sent him on an air evacuation flight to Germany.  He has since returned to duty and is doing well with minimal residual sight loss.                                   

Military Registered Nurse (Active Duty)

MorTan Inc.

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

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329 East Pine St
Missoula, MT 59802

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

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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.