Eye flushing is carried out if chemicals splash into the eye or a foreign object is stuck. In most instances, flushing must be done as quickly as possible.
Dust, dirt, grit and other particles must be flushed out from the eyes as well as chemicals and even bodily fluids such as blood.
While the eye is being flushed, ask someone to call for emergency assistance or prepare to take him/her to receive prompt medical care.
How to perform eye flushing
If eye flushing is required, the following must be done:
- Check for the presence of a foreign object – the object might be small that the individual does not notice it. If a particle is present, it can cause itchiness, redness, pain and other forms of irritation. In case the individual was splashed with body fluid or chemical, the eye must be flushed right away.
- Check if the necessary materials are on hand – an eyewash solution must be on hand nearby especially in the kitchen or laboratory. If one is not available, you can utilize clean water from a tap, shower or hose.
- Contact lenses must be removed – this must be done before eye flushing. The contact lens can trap debris or chemicals which can worsen the symptoms.
- Correct positioning – start the eye flushing by tilting the head downwards with the affected eyelid at the lowest point. This prevents any particles from spreading to the other eye. The water or solution must flow from the inner eye to the outer corner.
- Flush the affected eye – utilize fluid for 10-15 minutes while keeping the eye open if possible to allow the fluid to move across the eye. Instruct the individual to look upwards, downwards and to the sides during flushing so that no chemicals or debris are trapped beneath the eyelids.
More Information / Disclaimer
The information posted on this page on eye flushing is for learning purposes only. Learn to properly perform the procedure by taking a standard first aid course with Victoria First Aid.