Irrigation of the eye after alkaline and acidic burns
Zena Rodrigues Emergency department manager, Western Eye Hospital, part of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London
Chemical burns to the eye are potentially serious and must be treated immediately. Zena Rodrigues offers a 13-point procedure for irrigation after serious chemical burns
Chemical eye injury is considered an emergency that needs immediate nursing intervention because prognoses depend, not only on severity of injury, but also on the promptness and effectiveness of eye irrigation. Many nurse practitioners working in emergency care settings have limited knowledge of chemical eye injuries and may understand only partially what course of action to take. This article explains briefly the effects of chemicals on ocular tissues and how to carry out an irrigation procedure before referring patients to ophthalmologists.
Emergency Nurse. 17, 8, 26-29. doi: 10.7748/en2009.12.17.8.26.c7431