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#67531 - 06/11/06 07:35 PM Eye-wash for irrigating wounds??
JIM Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 1029
Loc: The Netherlands
A question for our Medical people:

Can you use eye-wash (normally used for cleaning contact lenses) to irrigate a wound?

It's sterile, but I figured there are some substanses in it that are good for cleaning lenses, but injures tissue further if it gets into a wound.

Should it only be a ''I haven't got anything but this, so I use this''-solution, or is it a acceptable way to clean a wound?

Tell me...... <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
''It's time for Plan B...'' ''We have a Plan B?'' ''No, but it's time for one.'' -Stargate SG-1

#67532 - 06/11/06 07:52 PM Re: Eye-wash for irrigating wounds??
Burncycle Offline

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 508
Can you use eye-wash (normally used for cleaning contact lenses) to irrigate a wound?

I asked the same question over at lightfighter <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Be advised, some bottles of contact lens solution has added chemicals for things like protein removal, "no rub" protein removal, etc. I don't know if those will hurt you, but I'd look for the plain sterile saline type. For what it's worth, I carry a bottle in my kit for that purpose.

#67533 - 06/11/06 08:20 PM Re: Eye-wash for irrigating wounds??
billym Offline

Registered: 12/01/05
Posts: 616
Loc: Oakland, California
Sterlile saline is also available;
I once made the mistake of wrapping a really bad cut on my finger (culinary accident) with plain sterile gauze. The only way I could get it off the wound when the blood dried was to go buy a bottle of sterile saline solution from the contact lense product section of the pharmacy.

#67534 - 06/12/06 04:00 AM Re: Eye-wash for irrigating wounds??
lukus Offline

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 170
Loc: TEXAS (where else?)
I also carry a small bottle of plain sterile saline solution. About the preservatives and protein removers in some of the solutions, if it's made to be squirted in probably the most sensitive and easy to damage part of your body, I would guess a little wound irragation is O.K.

BTW, last time I mentioned carrying saline solution for wound irragation, two guys got into a peeing match about peeing on wounds. Maybe we could liven this one up too! <img src="/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

#67535 - 06/12/06 04:27 AM Re: Eye-wash for irrigating wounds??
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
*blows razzberry at lukus*

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

#67536 - 06/12/06 01:32 PM Re: Eye-wash for irrigating wounds??
NAro Offline

Registered: 03/15/01
Posts: 484
Jim, don't use the product used for CLEANING contact lenses. You can use the product labeled Sterile Saline Solution. I keep them in single-use ampules (I think our Walgreen's pharmacy brand)...8-10 strewn throughout my larger FAK and 2-3 in my pocket FAK.
There are some labeled for "sensitive eyes" or preservative free: they are usually free of the thimerosal preservative, or sorbic acid preservative, and are ph balanced. However, none on the U.S. market are just water and sodium chloride alone. They will have something else, e.g. sodium borate, etc.

From a practical standpoint however, there is no reason why you can't use them for irrigating a wound. In my experience actually treating an eye injury in the field (there was an Opthalmologist along on that trip) and also using the solution to irrigate other lacerations, we needed a larger volume of fluid than you would imagine. Ended up using drinking water, after all.

#67537 - 06/13/06 02:55 AM Re: Eye-wash for irrigating wounds??
Be_Prepared Offline

Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 530
Loc: Massachusetts
>>In my experience actually treating an eye injury in the field (there was an Opthalmologist along on that trip) and also using the solution to irrigate other lacerations, we needed a larger volume of fluid than you would imagine.

I would second that comment. I have a few of the single use ampules in my kit, but, they are probably not useful for much more than moistening the eye. The last time one of the boys had something in their eye on a camping trip, we went through a 12 oz bottle of saline, and could have used more. I had one of those small 4 oz bottles of eye wash in the FAK, but, it was half used and not replaced (probably my fault), so I went in my backpack and had a bottle of saline for my contacts. We still had the eye cup in the FAK, which we dropped in some boiling water briefly (only because we already had water on the boil for some cocoa). Ok, not sterile, but, cleaner than the stuff in his eye anyway?

Having an eye cup can really help when you're trying to dislodge something that doesn't come right out easily. It's also probably easier to use on yourself if needed, you can blink while the rinse is still on your eye, and it works wonders. Then you can furthur irrigate without the cup to make sure it's all rinsed from the eye and lid. I've heard there are different views on using the eye cup, but, they have worked for us a few times, so we'll keep one in the big kit for the troop.

- Ron

#67538 - 06/13/06 12:29 PM Re: Eye-wash for irrigating wounds??
Blacktop Offline

Registered: 06/29/05
Posts: 134
Loc: Cypress, TX
How about using the Saline Nasal Sprays such as Ocean? It does have some preservatives - Disodium phosphate, Phenylcarbinol, Monosodium phosphate, and Benzalkonium chloride - and I don't know how sterile it is, but it comes in a decent sized squirt bottle. Definitely would NOT use it in the eyes, however.


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