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First Aid - Chemical in Eye (Method 2)
First Aid - Chemical in Eye (Method 1)
- Chemical gets into the eye from fingers, contaminated object, spray or splash
- The following liquid products are harmless to the eye: bubble bath, cosmetics, deodorant, foods (e.g., lemon juice), hair conditioner, hair spray, hand lotion, laundry detergent (liquid), medications, shampoo, shaving cream, soap, sunscreen, and toothpaste.
- The following substances are also generally harmless, but will cause transient irritation: hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol and vinegar.
- Mace and pepper spray are used in personal protection devices. Eye exposure results in marked eye pain and tearing. Usually these symptoms subside in 30 minutes and there is no lasting damage.
- Eye contact with acids or alkalis can cause severe damage to the eye. Both need immediate irrigation followed by immediate referral to an emergency department.
- Acids: Acids include hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid, oxalic acid, or any other product labeled as an acid. Products that are called drain cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, metal cleaners, descalers, or battery fluid should be assumed to contain acid until proven otherwise.
- Alkalis: Alkalis include lime, lye, potassium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide, calcium hydroxide, and industrial-strength ammonia. Any product that is called a drain cleaner, oven cleaner, bathroom cleaner, or industrial cleaner should be assumed to contain alkali until proven otherwise.
- Two weak alkalis that usually don't cause any harm are household bleach and household ammonia.
If not, see these topics
FIRST AID Advice for Chemical in the Eye:
- Immediate and thorough irrigation of the eye with tap water should be done as quickly as possible (Reason: to prevent damage to the cornea).
- If one eye is not burned, cover it (if possible) while irrigating the other.
Duration of Irrigation:
- For harmless substances (e.g., sunscreen or hair spray), irrigation only needs to be carried out for 2-3 minutes.
- For stronger chemicals that cause more irritation and stinging (e.g., ammonia, vinegar, alcohol or household bleach), flush the eye for 5-10 minutes.
- For acids, irrigate the eye continuously for 10 minutes.
- For alkalis, irrigate the eye continuously for 20 minutes.
- For any chemical particles that can't be flushed away, wipe them away with a moistened cotton swab.
- Never irrigate with antidotes such as vinegar (Reason: the chemical reaction can cause more damage) .
- Tell the patient to call back immediately if they are unable to carry out the irrigation (Reason: needs a topical anesthetic in the E.D.).