Eye injuries will be the main focus of our 7th addition to “Wound Care” in this First Aid Blog. As we only have 2 eyes, and the fact that they operate one of our major senses, we should pay careful attention to what we can do as First Aid attendants in the presence of an Eye Injury. To make things easy, lets break it down into the basics like the other posts so that we can see what we can do, and give us some options. “Remember” eyes are a major organ and should not be treated lightly, “always seek a medical professional if your eyes have been injured, your vision changes or you have trouble focusing.” Any wound near the eye should be treated as an eye injury!
- Objects or foreign particles lodged in the eye
- Impact to the eye by any force or object
- Burns / Flash burns
- Chemical Exposure
- Wear PPE or Personal Protective Equipment when available
- During Sports activities wear a face mask or eye protection
- Rotating tools should be inspected for wear and tear, lose objects may come lose and fly into the eye’s.
- Always review your MSDS and wear your PPE when working with chemicals.
- Get trained on all equipment at your place of employment to avoid injuries from misuse.
What it Looks Like:
- Pain and or irritation in the eye or eyes
- Unable to open the eye
- Tears or watering of the eye
- Problem seeing properly
- Object lodged in the eye
How to Help:
- Check the area, once the area is safe, Check the person and ensure the persons ABC’s are present “Airway / Breathing / Circulation” REMEMBER – Wear gloves if available to avoid bodily fluids.
- Call 911 if you suspect the injuries could be severe like head neck or spine injuries, if their airway could be blocked or there is an impaled object in or near the eye, or if the eye is out of the socket..
- Care for the Eye Injury by:
**Foreign Object / Substance floating in the eye**
- Try to remove the object floating in the eye by having the person blink several times. As the eye produces tears it may flush the object away.
- Clean away any dirt around the eye and then gently flush the eye with water, flush “AWAY” from the unaffected eye to avoid contaminating both eyes.
- If the object remains in the eye even after flushing the eyes seek medical attention right away to avoid further damage.
**Impaled Object in the eye**
- Get the person to rest as comfortably as possibly
- Leave the “Impaled Object” in the eye “Never remove an Impaled Object as it can cause more damage in removing it, leave removing of the object to a medical professional to avoid increasing the severity of the injury.
- Stabilize the object by placing bulky dressings around it being careful not to put pressure on the eye or against the object “Try not to move it as much as possible“
- Use bandages to keep the dressing in place.
“Always seek further medical attention with objects that have been Impaled into the Body.”
If the eyes were damaged due to a “Flash Burn” (e.g.. From welding)
- Cover the eyes with a cool, wet cloth
- Seek further medical attention to avoid long term damage
With any head injury it is always a good idea to seek further medical attention to avoid complications that may include the Head / Neck or Spine.
We never know what can happen, its always good to be prepared and have the knowledge we need to help those who need it.
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Above all else remember to Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Wast Time!!!
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