Section II. EYE INJURIES
a. Key Considerations in Initial Care. Be careful about moving the patient's
head. Try to immobilize head movement. Avoid pressure when examining the patient.
Have the patient avoid coughing or straining, if possible. Do not use Betadine on the
patient's eyes. Continually reassure the patient.
b. Evacuation. Transport the patient in the supine position with his upper torso
elevated 15 to 30 degrees. When the patient is being evacuated by air, give oxygen as
indicated. Advise the air crew to climb slowly and avoid abrupt maneuvering. The
aircraft cabin should be at sea level pressure, and the aircraft should be flying at low
level. Request that you be informed of any change in flight altitude.
NONPENETRATING EYE INJURIES
a. Periorbital Hematoma (Black Eye).
(1) Description. A hematoma may be described as an abnormal mass of
blood located outside the blood vessels. The cause of a periorbital hematoma, a black
eye, is usually blunt trauma to the orbital region; for example, as a result of a fist fight.
Signs/symptoms. Included are the following:
Swelling of soft tissue.
(b) Discoloration (black and blue spot on the skin caused by escaped
blood from injured blood vessels).
(3) Treatment. Recommended treatment is application of cold packs for 24
to 36 hours. Analgesics may be taken for pain. A blow heavy enough to cause
periorbital hematoma may also cause underlying injuries. It is, therefore, very important
to assess the patient for underlying fractures.
b. Subconjunctival Hemorrhage.
(1) Description. This type of hemorrhage is often spontaneous and usually
occurs in only one eye. This condition may occur after a bout of sneezing, coughing, or
(2) Signs/symptoms. The hemorrhage will appear bright red with sharp
delineations. The hemorrhage stops at the corneoscleral limbus. The condition is
asymptomatic with the accumulated blood being absorbed in two or three weeks.