Tuesday, 19 January 2016

First aid brushup: Wound management - Eye injuries


Eye injuries are particularly uncomfortable and the casualty is likely to report one which has occurred.  A penetrating eye injury will also be accompanied by bleeding inside or from the eye, and the casualty may complaint that their vision is distorted or that they are sensitive to light.

Image from here


If a foreign object is visible in the eye and is small, a damp tissue may be able to remove it.  Alternatively, it may be possible to wash it out with a steady stream of clean water, saline solution or the casualty's own tears (have them tilt their head towards the injured side).  If the object cannot be seen (or if seen, cannot be readily removed) cover the eye and take the casualty to a doctor.

You should not attempt to remove foreign objects from the eye if they are over the pupil.  Rubbing the eye (by the casualty or by a first aider trying to remove the object) is likely to cause further damage.

Where a penetrating eye injury has occurred, call an ambulance.  While waiting, have the casualty lie down with their head slightly raised on a pillow.  Padding should be placed around the object to support it, and then bandage the padding in place to keep the object stable.  Do not attempt to remove or touch the object.  The uninjured eye should also be covered, as this will discourage movement of the eyes and reduce the risk of further injury.


As with other posts in this series, the information supplied is from Kym Eden's Fun with First Aid (2013).

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