Eye Injuries/Emergency Care

  1. Removal of loose foreign body from conjunctiva
    1. Foreign bodies, e.g., sand, dust, may cause pain and lacrimation.
    2. Instruct client to look upward.
    3. Evert lower lid to expose the conjunctival sac.
    4. Gently remove the particle with a cotton applicator dipped in sterile normal saline using a twisting motion.
    5. If particle is not found, examine the upper lid.
    6. Place cotton applicator stick or tongue blade horizontally on outer surface of upper lid; grasp under eyelashes with fingers of other hand and pull the upper lid outward and upward over the applicator stick.
    7. Gently remove the particle as above.
  2. Penetrating injuries to the eye
    1. Examples: darts, scissors, flying metal
    2. Do not attempt to remove object.
    3. Do not allow client to apply pressure to the eye.
    4. Cover eye lightly with sterile eye patch for embedded objects, e.g., metal; apply protective shield, e.g., paper cup, for impaled objects such as darts.
    5. Cover uninjured eye to prevent excessive movement of injured eye.
    6. Refer the client to an emergency room immediately.
  3. Chemical burns
    1. Flush eye immediately with copious amounts of water for 15-20 minutes.
      1. Have client hold head under faucet to let water run over eye to thoroughly wash it out; may need to forcibly separate eyelids during flush
      2. If available, flush eye with syringe
    2. After flushing, refer client to an emergency room immediately