Eye wash options

Discussion in 'Survival Medicine' started by Harbin, May 23, 2012.

  1. Harbin

    Harbin Monkey+

    The other day at work one of the guys I was with got some debris in his eye (no safety glasses while wailing away with a hammer on a rusted motor mount), the company gives us a little first aid kit that had a small eye wash squeeze bottle in it that worked but was just barely enough.

    My question for anyone either with experience using them or any medical folks is which ones do you like? I'd like to add something to the house first aid kit as well as put something out in the shop. I started searching online and found the little ones like we used, just wondered if there are any better options. I'd like to hear if anyone has heard stories of one kind or another making things worse.

    Seawolf1090 likes this.
  2. sgt peppersass

    sgt peppersass Monkey+

    Do you have a sink nearby? TRhey have fittings available that can attach to a faucet where it splits off to a "y" and on top of each parrt of the "y" is 2 openings with nozzles that direct the spray up into both eyes. Some of the good ones have small flaps over them to protect the nozzles from dirt/debri getting into them. Ill look around and ask my EH&s department if there is any extras laying around.
    arleigh likes this.
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    For example -
    Portable / Gravity Fed Eye Wash Stations

    Sorta ill suited for bugging out, but good if no pressurized system is available. Not very portable, but an easy wall mount.

    Here's one if there is a pressurized water system available.
    Bradley S19-200B Ansi-compliant, Faucet-Mounted Eyewash Station

    In any case, flushing with water, lots of it, is a start, and finish with a sterile rinse from one of the small bottles of the "good" stuff. Eyes are far more susceptible to mechanical damage than infections, thus you can use almost any source of clean water (nothing floating in it) as a starter. It is especially important to flush right damn now if there are chemicals involved that can do tissue damage, and pay attention to lifting the lids off the eyeball to get that area cleared as well as the surface itself.
  4. Harbin

    Harbin Monkey+

    That's exactly the kind of info I was looking for. Thanks!
  5. ColtCarbine

    ColtCarbine Monkey+++ Founding Member

    On more than one occasion I've had to irrigate my eyes from foreign debris even wearing safety glasses and a face shield. When flushing the eyes sometimes you have to forcefully open the eyelids, not always an easy task with an irritant in your eye. Sometimes when you think the irritant is gone, is not always the case. I've gone to the doctor to have metal slivers removed from my eyes after the fact. It is my understanding that your eyes heal a lot faster than other parts of the body.

    The advantage of a plumbed-in unit is the never ending supply of water.

    Plumbed-in permanent eye wash stations come in many configurations.

    Emergency Eye Wash and Shower Equipment > Guardian Equipment

    Squeeze bottles with an eye cup work better than just the plain ole' saline squeeze bottles.

    Plum Sterile Saline 200 ml Eye Wash Station Refill, 3/Pack - 29223 - Northern Safety Co., Inc.

    Here's a cool portable eye wash station.

    Emergency Eye Wash and Shower Equipment > Guardian Equipment
    BTPost likes this.
  6. Harbin

    Harbin Monkey+

    I do have a sink in the shop, that sounds like a good option for a permanent solution in there.

    Colt Carbine- That one from Northern Tool looks great, thinking thats the one to add to the first aid kit. Also going to show that one to guys at work, see if we can start carrying something like that instead.

  7. snowbyrd

    snowbyrd Latet anguis in herba

    Urine, in a SHTF situation. Body temp, sterial (sp) same as saline. Also for cuts/irrigation. Minimises (sp again)scaring. Been there done this. Here by comes the saying "pizz in your eye". Got boiling gas in my eye from an overly hot chain saw, irrigated with a gallon of too hot water, still not enough, had my wife, uh, irrigate it, I know brings up bad visions. It saved my vision..........Just say'in......
  8. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Good thinking. Field expedients are worth the thoughts. Contra indications are bladder infections, but even then following with clean water and a sterile flush as soon as possible would be a good thing.
  9. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Back when I was younger and wild, I used to (what?) work in construction and frequently got a lot of crud in my eyes. I would end up just grabbing whatever I had on site, milk jugs, bottle caps, tin foil, and utilizing this as a cup to fill with water and press it to my eye, tilt head down and slowly blink with the eye submerged. The debris always fell out.
  10. john316

    john316 Monkey+++

    CHEEP EYEWASH…….Aquafina bottled water…...NO TASTE AT ALL…...i do not care for it to drink………...but as an eyewash, IT IS GREAT

    TO DRINK….Zephyrhills Natural Spring Water is just FLORIDA well water GREAT TASTE to a FLORIDA boy
    Homer Simpson likes this.
  11. I have gotten metal particles in my eyes different times. Once ended up in E.R.. I have seen small, pointy, rare earth magnets advertised for extracting ferro-magnetic particles from the eye, but not recently. Does anyone know if these are still available? P.S. always wear eye protection.
  12. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    I used to carry an aid kit, the normal saline (500ML) was used for eye wash when needed. If you are carrying some kind of buffered eye wash, consider multiple and smaller containers for this...

    (Edit to add)

    You may want to have some Fluorescein Sodium Ophthalmic Strips, USP.- and a blue light source (like this https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000BP6N6Y/?tag=survivalmonke-20) along with a magnifying glass.

    to confirm all debris has been, in fact, removed from the eye. The dye will also show you if there was any damage (scratches) to the eye as well.

    An addition consideration is the 'eye irrigation device'
    if a caustic powder/fluid (like oven cleaner) get into an eye, the eye should be flushed continuously on the way to the hospital for treatment.

    These do require professional training for appropriate use, perhaps something your employer might offer....
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018
  13. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I had an incident while working on snow cats .
    Though I was already attuned to wearing safety gear through demands and just personal safety ,having had debris in my eyes and getting flash burn , I don't take my vision for granted .
    WE were testing the plumbing on a hydraulic system on a cat and I stood back 10 feet, and watched the gages on the 1" hoses. @ 6,000 psi the fitting of concern broke and hot oil hit me the face as well as all of the wall and ceiling . Has I not been wearing the safety glasses I would have been blinded for sure, it stung my face pretty hard.
    Most people do not know how dangerous it is working on machinery , so they walk into it pretty vulnerable.
    Growing up I was a little kid working along side carpenters that had finger missing, I did not need to make similar mistakes they did .
    If you don't learn from the mistakes of others, you are really stupid ,and their bad example was really worthless to you .
    john316 and 3cyl like this.
  14. jefferson

    jefferson Monkey

    Eyes get irritation due to dust and watching smart devices for long time. So better to avoid using smart devices for long time. At the same time dust in eyes will causes some pain and irritation. During this hour, better to immerse eyes in the water will gives good relief.
  15. natshare

    natshare Monkey+++

    Bottled eye flush/irrigation typically has a shelf life (like many other things). Not sure what the length is, but if you work somewhere that routinely replaces their eye flush bottles that are expiring, ask them if you can have them.
    Basically, all this stuff is, is saline. So even if you don't want to trust it to flush out your eyes, it should still work really well, for WOUND irrigation. And since the bottles are typically ~1 liter in size, it's a good thing to have handy.
    Tully Mars likes this.
  16. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    I've been pretty well hosed down with transmission fluid, diesel, and gasoline over the years. We have a nice yellow eye wash station in the shop, but it's usually covered with dust and drains on your feet.:mad: I've always just had someone lead me to the deep sink in the bathroom and turn the water in the tall faucets on to a comfortable temperature. This gives continuous flushing of the eyes and allows me to get a little soap to wash my hair and face too.

    Our bathroom sink was made to fit a man in the event we have a heat casualty. There's a big commercial ice machine in the break room for the same reason. It's always been our go-to for eye washing or any other kind of chemical exposure... like seam sealer in my beard.
    Seawolf1090 likes this.
  17. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    I know of two eye care methods in la'au lapa'au (Hawaiian plant medicine). The first is a dropper with a solution made with Hawaiian chili pepper. You read right. There are a few caveats and a funny? story to it. You make a solution with distilled or natural spring water and Hawaiian chili pepper and drip it into your eyes. Your eyes will get very red as the capsaicin increases blood flow to the eyes. Caveats... have to strain out all the bits so only solution remains. Second caveat... not too spicy.

    Funny story. Our Kumu (teacher) told us when he taught it to one of his early classes, he would try everyone's solution first. Partly to show that it was safe. After going through about 20 students' solutions, his eyes were on fire and he was hurting. After all that, he remembered his teachers advice to taste the solution before putting it in your eyes. You should not really be able to taste any heat. Your eyes are more sensitive than your tongue. Not tasting any heat is the right "temperature" for eye application.

    The second can help with soothing eye abrasions and particles. Take some aloe and cut off the skin. Drip the slimy juice directly into the eyes. One student got a bunch of particles in his eyes at work. Eye wash left him still pained and not able to see. The aloe soothed the pain. Let it sit as long as possible. After he washed the goop off his face, his eyes were comfortable and he could see.

    Just a quick note. Not prescribing anything. Just describing my lessons.
    oldawg likes this.
  18. jefferson

    jefferson Monkey

    Sometimes, Eyes gets irritation due to some small dust present in the eyes. It will make more stress and pain in the eyes. Most of the time, I use to sink my eyes in the water tub for few minutes. This will help to eliminate the dust present in my eyes. This method is gives me good results. Sometimes, just simply wash my eyes with water. But I never want to rub my eyes with hand because it will cause so much irritation and pain to my eyes.
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