Emergency advice

Eye wounds:

  1. Help the casualty to lie back and support their head.
  2. Tell them to keep both eyes still.
  3. Give them a dressing to hold over the eye and secure in place.
  4. Seek medical advice straight away. 

What is an eye wound?

The eye can be bruised or cut by direct blows or by sharp fragments of metal, grit, and glass.  Chemical spalshes into the eye or plaster or cement dusr can also cause damage to the eye.

Any eye injury can be serious as they may affect the casualty’s vision. Even superficial grazes can lead to scarring or infection with the possibility of permanent deterioration of vision.

Signs and symptoms

  • Pain in the eye or eyelids.
  • The eye may feel gritty.
  • A foreigh body may be visible in the eye.
  • A visible wound or a bloodshot appearance.
  • Blurred or a change in vision.
  • Partial or total loss of vision.
  • Bleeding or clear fluid from a wound.

What to do

  1. Major eye injuries (eg chemical in eye, eye cut or pierced, significant cnage or loss of vision)

    • Call 999 or got to Emergency Department or Eye Casualty Department.
    • Cover the  injured eye with a clean eye pad or wound dressing.
    • If there is a large object in their eye, DO NOT try to remove it.
    • Help the person to rest in a comfortable position with their eye closed.
    • If the eye injury is caused by a chemical splash, flush the eye with lots of water for as long as the person can tolerate it.


  2. Minor eye injuries (this could be from a small object or dust):

    • Tell the person not to rub their eye.
    • If there is an object in their eye, see if you can see it on the whilte part of their eye, and if so, ask the person to blink several times to wash out the object with tears.
    • You can gently gently flush out their eye by puring a stream of clean water across it - tilt their head to the injured side and pour the fluid from the nose side of the eye towards the outer corner.
    • If this doesn't work, cover their eye with a clean pad and seek help.

    If there is any change in vision following an eye injury seek help:

    • Eye casualty.
    • Emergency Dapartment.
    • Urgent Treatment Centre.

    In some areas opticians may offer advice and treatment for minor eye injuries.


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