TQUK Level 3 Award in First Aid at Work - Online Blended Part 1

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Course Content

Eye Injuries

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3 min 26 sec
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Dealing with Eye Injuries: First Aid and Guidelines

Types of Eye Injuries

Eye injuries encompass a range of scenarios, including:

  • Cuts
  • Impact injuries
  • Foreign objects entering the eye
  • Exposure to chemicals or other substances

Immediate Response

Act promptly following these steps:

  • Step 1: If the patient wears contact lenses, encourage them to remove them if possible.
  • Step 2: For chemical exposure, wash the eye meticulously. Ensure that the rinsing flows away from the unaffected eye to prevent contamination.
  • Step 3: In chemical incidents, document the substance for reference and relay this information to emergency medical services. Providing a chemical label or datasheet can be helpful.
  • Step 4: Flush the affected eye with a saline solution, an eyewash station, or clean water for a minimum of 20 minutes to ensure complete removal of the substance.
  • Step 5: Remove small particles like grit, sand, or dirt carefully from the eye using the corner of a sterile dressing or a tissue.

Eye Examination and Treatment

Depending on the injury type:

  • Scratched Eye: If there's suspicion of a scratched eye, consult a medical professional for evaluation.
  • Cuts Around the Eye: Apply a sterile eye pad dressing to control bleeding and provide comfort to the patient.
  • Reassurance: Support and reassure the patient, especially since impaired vision can increase their anxiety. Offer a tissue if there's any blood around the eye.
  • Do Not Cover Ears: When using an eye pad dressing, avoid covering the patient's ears to ensure unimpaired hearing.
  • Eye Movement Restriction: In cases where eye movement could worsen the injury, instruct the patient to cup their hands over both eyes to prevent any motion. Stay with them to provide reassurance until help arrives.
  • Patient Transport: When moving a patient with an eye injury, handle them with care and maintain a reassuring presence.

Important Considerations

Remember these crucial points when dealing with eye injuries:

  • Do Not Remove Objects: Never attempt to remove objects that have penetrated the eye.
  • Avoid Eye Contact: Refrain from touching or rubbing the injured eye, applying makeup near it, or using contact lenses until recovery.

When to Seek Immediate Medical Attention

Refer to NHS guidelines for hospital referral:

  • Strong chemical exposure (e.g., oven cleaner or bleach)
  • Penetration of the eye by a sharp object
  • High-speed impact injury to the eye (e.g., power tool or lawnmower accidents)
  • Post-injury changes in eye appearance
  • Headache, high temperature, or light sensitivity
  • Nausea or vomiting following the eye injury
  • Inability to move or open the eye
  • Blood or pus discharge from the eye
Learning Outcomes:
  • IPOSi Unit three LO7.1, 7.2 & 7.3