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Management of Ocular Emergencies and Urgent Eye Problems

Author: Garcia GE

Publication: Am Fam Physician 1996 Feb 1;53(2):565-74

Evaluation of the patient with an acute eye problem begins with documentation of the level of vision in each eye, except in the case of a splash injury. In such cases, immediate copious irrigation is of critical importance. Subconjunctival hemorrhage is common and, typically, completely benign. Herpes simplex infection is painful and can lead to extensive damage. Herpes zoster infection is usually accompanied by skin lesions and can be effectively treated with oral acyclovir or famcyclovir. In patients with Bell’s palsy, the eye must be carefully protected to prevent secondary injury. Corneal abrasions heal rapidly when antibiotics and patch protection are provided. Acute infections of the eyelids and conjunctivae usually respond well to topical antibiotics and warm compresses. Traumatic injuries require careful evaluation and, often, referral to an ophthalmologist.

My 16-month-old son received an ocular chemical burn when his 3 ½-year-old brother discovered a cleaning solution without a child-proof lid.  Both eyes were flushed at home for 3 to 5 minutes before he was taken to the ED.  Once there, Alcaine drops were instilled, Morgan Lenses inserted into both eyes and irrigation started with lactated Ringer’s.  He promptly fell asleepIf I can use it on my own child and trust it – so can anyone!    

Registered Nurse (Kentucky)

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.