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Prompt Irrigation of Chemical Eye Injuries May Avert Severe Damage

Author: Frank R. Burns, MD and Christopher A. Paterson, PhD, DSc.

Publication: Occupational Health & Safety (April 1989)

Chemical burns to the eye are among the most urgent of ocular emergencies. The clinical outcome of the injury is directly related to the expediency with which treatment is begun. Copious irrigation is the most important emergency treatment of the chemically burned eye. This irrigation should begin immediately at the scene of the accident with any nontoxic liquid. Removal of any particulate matter must be done to prevent further ocular damage. The subsequent therapy is directed at the treatment of secondary sequelae and at preserving the globe to surgically rehabilitate the eye. Many of the treatments, which are used in the intermediate and late phases of the injury, are used to prevent corneal ulceration and perforation. These are the most difficult sequelae to threat in alkali injuries; thus, preventing the progression to this stage is of the utmost importance. Again the immediate and continuous irrigation of the eye may help accomplish this goal.

The availability of emergency eyewash equipment dispensing a safe, preserved, pH-balanced, physiologically correct solution in the industrial, agricultural and even the home setting is a necessity. The education of employees and family members in the proper technique of irrigating the eye following a chemical burn is also of extreme importance. Immediate irrigation of the eye, continued during rapid transport to a medical care facility, minimizes the damage to the eye and enhances the eventual clinical outcome.

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.

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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.