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Eye injuries can occur to the eyes include cuts, a foreign object entering the eye or chemical or other substances in the eye.

If the patient has a substance in their eye for example a chemical, you would need to wash it out. Care should always be taken to wash away from the unaffected eye, get the patient to turn their head to one side and wash the chemical out, as you don’t want to wash the chemical into the other eye.

Use a saline solution, eyewash station, or clean water, make a note of the chemical so that you can pass the information to the emergency medical services.

Small particles like grit, sand or dirt for example can be blinked out, washed out or removed from the eye very carefully with the corner or a sterile dressing or tissue. If there is any chance that the eye itself has been scratched then this should be checked out by a professional.

Cuts around the eye should be treated with an eyepatch, with any type of eye injury you should reassure the patient and try to keep them as calm as possible. The fact that their vision is impaired is going to increase their concern.

When treating any eye injury it is important to remember that they eyes track together, if you think that the injury could be made worse by movement, you will need to keep both eyes covered.

One example may be where a foreign object such as a piece of metal or wood is in the eye, movement will cause more damage, in this instance the patient should sit with their hands cupped over their eyes, keep your hand on their shoulder and talk to them so that they know you are there, while you wait for the emergency services to arrive.

If you have eye bandages and use them, take care not to cover the patient’s ears, they will not be able to see and you need to make sure that you don’t affect their hearing too.

If you are moving a patient who has an eye injury take particular care to keep them calm and reassure them, they are putting their total trust in you to guide them and take care of them.

If a patient has a cut near the eye, give them a tissue so that they can wipe any blood that may drip down their face.