How to perform irrigation of the eye
Janet Marsden Professor of ophthalmology and emergency care, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, England
This article aims to help nurses to understand the importance of performing irrigation immediately following chemical injury to the eye, and outlines the most effective technique. It is essential that irrigation of the eye is understood and performed correctly.
Chemical injury to the eye is an ophthalmic emergency. It presents a serious risk to the patient’s vision and may cause blindness.
The length of time the chemical remains in contact with the eye determines the severity of the injury.
Immediate irrigation of the eye is essential to minimise preventable loss of vision.
Clinical skills articles can help update your practice and ensure it remains evidence based. Apply this article to your practice. Reflect on and write a short account of:
How you would ensure immediate irrigation following chemical injury to the eye in your clinical area.
How you know when you have irrigated the eye for long enough, if you have previously performed this procedure, and how reading this article might influence your practice.
Subscribers can upload their reflective accounts at:
Nursing Standard. 30, 23,36-39. doi: 10.7748/ns.30.23.36.s45Correspondence
All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.
Received: 21 November 2014
Accepted: 28 January 2015