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Author: Ernst AA, Thomson T, Haynes M, Weiss SJ
Publication: Ann Emerg Med 1998 Dec;32(6):676-9
STUDY OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that ocular irrigation with warm saline solution is more comfortable than irrigation with room temperature saline solution in normal volunteers.
METHODS: The study was a randomized, single-blind crossover trial, in which each subject received 30 mL warmed and 30 mL room temperature saline solution in opposite eyes. The solutions (warmed versus room temperature) and the order of irrigation (right eye versus left) were separately randomized. Physicians were blinded to solution temperature. Subjects rated the discomfort of irrigation on separate visual analog scales (VAS). The study had 80% power to detect at least a 12-mm difference in VAS readings.
RESULTS: Thirty-five volunteers were enrolled in the study. There was no gender effect or order effect for the 2 solutions. The mean VAS score for warmed saline solution was 15 mm+1-15 mm (SD). The mean VAS score for room temperature saline was 34 mm+/-24 mm (SD), (95% confidence interval for difference of 19 mm [10 mm to 28 mm], P <.0001, Witcoxon signed rank test). CONCLUSION: Warmed saline solution was both clinically and statistically more comfortable than room temperature saline solution as an ocular irrigant among normal volunteers. NOTE: “Warmed solution” was defined in the study as being between 90-100 degrees F (32.2 and 37.8 degrees C); “room temperature” is approximately 70 degrees F (21.1 degrees C)
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 asleep. If I can use it on my own child and trust it – so can anyone!Registered Nurse (Kentucky)
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.