(d) Objects or elements which could reflect laser beams must be
removed. These include standing water, ice, glass, and so forth, but not snow.
Snow simply diffuses the beam and is, thus, not hazardous.
(2) Range limitations. The amount of power and the proper distance from
laser equipment must be maintained.
(3) Safety goggles. Personnel must wear the correct set of goggles for the
optical density of the laser system being used. It must be remembered that one set of
goggles will not protect a person from the hazards of every laser system.
2-17. SYMPTOMS OF LASER INJURY
A reduction in the clearness of vision and pain are the main symptoms of laser
injury. It may not be known that lasers are in use; therefore, medical personnel should
suspect that a soldier has been exposed to lasers if he reports seeing bright flashes of
light, he experiences eye discomfort and poor vision, and he has a feeling of
unexplained heat. Obvious lesions such as corneal burns, retinal injury, retinal
hemorrhage, and skin burns make the diagnosis of injury from lasers more certain.
2-18. FIRST AID FOR LASER INJURIES
First aid for laser injuries begins with the aidman. In the division, management is
limited to first aid only. Damage to the eye will be the most likely laser injury. Here is
the procedure to deal with eye injury:
a. Early identification of injury to the eye is important.
b. Tell the patient not to squeeze his eyelids.
c. Apply a binocular patch (no direct pressure) or a battle dressing around the
head (the eyes will be covered).
d. Evacuate the patient in the supine position.
e. Administer systemic analgesics for moderate to severe pain.
2-19. SAFETY PRINCIPLES
Some precautions must be used when handling or being near laser equipment.
a. Never look into the beam of any laser.
b. Remember that reflections of laser beams from polished surfaces are as
dangerous as the beam itself.