Skip to the content

Warmed Versus Room Temperature Saline Solution for Ocular Irrigation: A Randomized Clinical Trial

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)

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.

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 8719
Missoula, MT 59807
U.S.A.

Shipping Address:
329 East Pine St
Missoula, MT 59802
U.S.A.

Toll-Free Telephone1-800-423-8659
Telephone: 406-728-2522
Fax: 
406-728-9332

Emailmortan@morganlens.com

Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM MT

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.