Ocular injury due to foreign bodies and chemicals has the ability to cause ongoing discomfort and permanent injury to the eye. Flushing with water for a suitable period of time has the ability to reduce or eliminate further injury and damage.

Foreign body irritant due to:

  • Dust
  • Smoke particles
  • Other foreign bodies that are on the surface of the eye

Ocular injury due to:

  • Acid or solvent burns
  • Gasoline
  • Detergents
  • Alkali burns
  • Chemical splashes

Oleoresin Capsaicum(OC) spray

  • Penetrating eye injuries
  • Suspected or actual rupture of the globe
Patient Factors & Considerations
  • Only use NaCl 0.9% or clean, potable water
  • Water should be tepid. Water too cold or hot could cause further damage to the eye and surrounding fluid.
  • Minimise the application pressure. This should be enough to gently shower and flood the eye. Avoid high pressure at all times.
  • Locate the eye wash station
  • Twist the irrigator clockwise to open the saline bottle
  • Remove the dust cap on te applicator
  • The head should be pointed downwards to assist with drainage and avoid spent fluid entering the bottle
  • Hold the eye(s) open with the fingers
  • Begin to flush the eyes
  • Have the patient gently roll their eyes from left to right and up and down to be sure that all areas of the eyes are flushed

In the event of a chemical injury:

  • flush for a full 15 minutes to allow appropriate dilution and clearance.

In the event of ongoing discomfort or injury:

  • The patient should be referred to a specialist physician for follow up.
Additional Information
Additional information


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