h. Close eyelids prior to dressing. This will protect the eye from possible
scratching of the cornea by a gauze pad.
Conscious patient--tell him to gently close his eyelids.
Unconscious patient--you must gently close his eyelids.
Closing the eyelids helps to prevent drying. Drying can cause more damage.
Also, damage can be caused by strong light, whether the patient is conscious
or unconscious. Strong light could come from the sun, welding equipment,
snow, or ice.
Cover severely injured eyes (eyeball) with loose dressing.
(1) Cover both eyes even if only one eye is injured. Remember that when
one eye moves, the other eye duplicates this movement (this is referred to as sympathetic
movement). Covering the eyes will also reduce further damage.
The patient should be evacuated with both eyes covered.
j. Cover injury to soft surrounding eye tissues, (black eyes, cut on eyebrow, or
eyelids). Cover only one eye. This will allow the patient to walk around without being
assisted by others.
In hazardous surroundings, it may be necessary to leave the uninjured eye
uncovered, regardless of severity of the injury to the uninjured eye.
k. Dressing techniques.
Use only sterile dressing.
Avoid covering a patient's nose, mouth, and ears.
Prevent dressing from slipping down to the patient's neck.
Prepare Patient for Evacuation.
Allow for patient to be evacuated quietly and in a supine position if he is unable
to walk or is unconscious.