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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.”

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.