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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.

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.