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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)

I started my career in emergency nursing nearly 20 years ago.  That's when I was introduced to the Morgan Lens and began using them when I needed to irrigate the patient's eyes.  In my current role as an ED Director,


I orient our new staff.  Occasionally one of the new nurses is unfamiliar with Morgan Lenses.  I'm always excited to tell them about the Morgan Lens and how they greatly simplify eye irrigation.  It's efficient for the nurse and effective and comfortable for the patient.  That's an unbeatable combination.   

ED Educator (Florida)

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.