Taking Charge of Your Health

Now let’s cover the topic of eye injuries,
of which there can be a couple of main types. One is an object embedded in the eye. The
other is a chemical in the eye. In this case, we’re going to be first addressing the object
in the eye. In this case we know that the worker was by a grinding wheel, and potentially
one of the brushes may have flown off the wheel and embedded in their eye. They’re in
a great deal of pain. We’ve gone ahead and assessed for scene safety, our gloves are
on, and also the patient is not suffering from airway, breathing, or circulation problems
at this time, so they’re remaining fairly stable. We guided them to a place where they
could be sat down carefully and now treated, and here’s what we’re going to do. We find
a cup. It’s important to understand that we want to actually get something that goes over
the wounded eye so that we don’t put any pressure on the object that’s embedded in the eye.
The second thing too is, if you have a medical grade cup, that’s fine, but you could also
use a Dixie cup or a drinking cup, a styrofoam cup, a coffee cup. It really doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t have to be overly large, because that’s going to cause some problems in trying
to bandage around it, so the smaller, the better. But we do want it to be at least deep
enough that it keeps the pressure off from that eye. The second point to make is that
we want to bandage both eyes shut because eyes tend to move together. So if we leave
one eye unbandaged so the person can see, when they move that eye they will also be
moving the affected eye, and we don’t want to cause further harm. The third point, and
lastly, we can have the patient assist us, when we’re having them hold the cup or hold
things in place while we bandage. So here we are. I’m just going to go ahead and put
this cup over your affected eye, ma’am. Go ahead and take your hand away. Now can you
hold that cup in place? Now the second thing I’m going to do– and be sure to talk to your
patient. They’re kind of blind at this point, so you want to be really communicating with
them, instead of making them guess what they’re feeling, like, “Now I’m putting a cup on your
eye, and now I’m going to throw a bandage on your eye.” Explain what you’re going to
do before you do it, so we don’t shock them. And then the other thing to remember too is,
once this is all bandaged, they’re blind. We’re going to have to lead them as if they
are blind, making sure to remind them where to step, how to step, so they don’t fall down.
And ideally we’re going to transport this patient via EMS, because there’s things that
we can do en route that might not be able to be done in a private car. But if the EMS
is not an option, private car may work as long as the patient is stable and doesn’t
have any other injuries that would stop them from being transported. So I took another
4×4 gauze. If you had an actual eye bandage, you could use that, certainly, but a 4×4 gauze
is not a problem either. Ma’am, I’m going to put this over your non-affected eye, and
you can hold that in place, and I’m just going to wrap a gauze around both of them. Go ahead
and let go of the cup side. I’m going to put a bandage around. Let me know if that hurts
at all, okay? Not the eye that’s hurt, but I mean, as I’m wrapping, any new pain. Now
I’m going to go ahead and wrap around this. You can let go. And I’m just going to continue
here. I know that’s over your nose, but I’ll move that in just a second, okay? I’m going
to continue to bandage around, and probably just a good couple times. You just want to
make sure that the cup is not going to slip. And then once you come back around to the
other side, we tuck the excess in underneath the bandage, as long as it’s not putting too
much pressure. Or you could always tape it in place. Is that fairly comfortable, ma’am?
I’m going to go ahead and lift this over your nose so you can breathe okay. Now the patient
is packaged and ready to go. Now we’re going to be doing our secondary survey, which is
doing a double-check. This is a pretty distracting injury, so it could take our eyes, our eyes
as rescuers, off from other things that might be happening. Maybe she fell after she got
the injury in the eye and hit her head. So we’re always going to be assessing for level
of consciousness, airway, breathing, circulation, signs of shock, and treating accordingly,
as we get this person into definitive care and back on track. And now let’s take a look
at the other type of eye injury, which is chemical burns. Whether a dry chemical or
a liquid chemical, it can cause a great amount of damage to this eye and the mucous membrane
of the eye in a relatively short amount of time. So getting the person to a position
where we can actually start to dilute the chemical as soon as possible is essential.
Now we would like to use a balanced solution as far as pH goes, but if you only have the
tap water out of a sink, or you have bottled water, drinking water, anything is going to
be better than nothing. If it’s a dry chemical, we’re going to brush as much of the excess
off as we can before we begin to dilute it and flush the eye. If it’s a liquid, we’re
just going to begin flushing. A key point here: If it’s one affected eye, we want to
go from the inside of the eye and rinse to the outside. We don’t want to cross-contaminate
eyeballs. We don’t want to flush from outside in, as it can then run over the bridge of
the nose into the non-affected eye. Now we’ve got chemical exposure to both eyes. Remember
that we’re going to flush for no less than 20 minutes to dilute and to bring the solution
into a position where it’s not causing damage. We’re going to transport this person to an
emergency room as soon as possible, and we’re going to watch for other life-threatening
issues. Remember, the chemical that went in the eye could have also gotten into the mouth,
nose, or airway, so we don’t want to take for granted that this is an isolated injury.
So we’re going to continue to assess our patient from head to toe, looking for life-threatening
situations like airway, breathing, circulation, or shock symptoms, and treat accordingly,
and then continue to flush those eyeballs out so that we can get the chemical out and
stop the burning from happening.

19 thoughts on “Eye Injuries

  1. Yes you can do that or in school labs when working with chemicals always follow teacher's instructions remember they have been trained to handle things like that and those classrooms have the emergency shower and eyewash station for problems like that then of course follow teacher's instructions on what to do next if your in school

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