Monday, January 22, 2018
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Head & Eye Injuries

Eye Injuries

Generally speaking, first aid for all eye injuries (other than the removal of small foreign bodies) should be followed up by expert examination of the eyes. The surface of the eye is very delicate, easily damaged.

Foreign body in the eye

Small items such as dust and grit can be washed from the eye with gently running water. The eye should then be bathed with Hyperacid and Calendula solution. Larger objects can be dabbed off the eyeball with a clean handkerchief dipped in the same solution; you may have to lift the upper lid to encourage the natural rear fluid to wash the object to the front of the eyeball. If pain persists for more than 12 hours after removal of a foreign body, see a doctor as soon as possible.

Penetration of the eye

If the eye is penetrated by glass or splinters, do not try to remove them. Dial the emergency number, and put a pad of gauze over both eyes to discourage eye movements (if the uninjured eye moves, the injured eye moves with it).

Chemicals in the eye

Chemical accidents involving the eyes call for very swift action indeed. As well as causing excruciating pain, they can lead to permanent blindness.

Turn the head so that the affected eye is lower than the other - this prevents the offending chemical from trickling into the uninjured eye. Hold the person's face and eye under a gently running tap for 10-15 minutes, separating the eyelids with your fingers. Then cover the eye with sterile gauze and a bandage. Take the person to the nearest Accident and Emergency department to have the eye checked.

Snow blindness

This is the result of over-long exposure to snow glare without the benefit of sunglasses or ski goggles. The eyes become puffy, painful, and water profusely.

Head Injuries

These injuries are caused by falls, road accidents, sporting accidents, or working in high risk occupations. They can result in skull fractures, scalp wounds, concussion, brain injury/brain damage, and should always receive urgent medical attention.


Skull Fracture

It may be seen or indicated, in some cases by blood or fluid from the ear, or loss of consciousness, or by a wound or sometimes there may be no signs.

  1. If breathing and heartbeat stop, begin the A-B-C of resuscitation immediately.
  2. If any discharge issues from the ear, incline towards the injured side and cover with a sterile dressing - DO NOT PLUG.
  3. If the casualty is unconscious, place him in the recovery position with the injured side down.
  4. If the casualty is conscious, place him in a half sitting position, with head and shoulders supported. If you suspect spinal injury, keep the casualty's head and trunk aligned at all times.
  5. Check breathing and pulse every ten minutes.
  6. Treat for shock.
  7. Send for medical assistance and remove to hospital.


This is a condition of temporary disturbance to the brain after a head injury. It may involve unconsciousness and, occasionally, loss of memory.

  1. If breathing and heartbeat stop, begin the A-B-C of resuscitation immediately.
  2. If casualty is unconscious, place him in the recovery position while awaiting removal to hospital.
  3. In serious cases, check breathing rate, and watch carefully for signs of delayed unconsciousness, shock, stroke.
  4. Treat for shock.
  5. In all cases consult a doctor.
  6. If loss of consciousness is suspected, the person should be examined at a hospital.


Any head injury may burst a blood vessel in the brain. This causes pressure to be exerted on the brain by blood accumulating within the skull. Compression may develop up to twenty-four hours after the casualty has apparently recovered.

With compression, the pupils of the eyes may be of differing sizes, there will be a diminished pulse rate and a deteriorating level of consciousness, an intense headache, noisy breathing, paralysis, raised temperature.

  1. The casualty should be removed to hospital immediately.

This condition requires urgent medical treatment.

Head Injuries in Children

Most head injuries in children are minor. Lacerations bleed freely and seem to be worse than they are. A fall of more than 3 ft. onto a hard surface is a serious matter. It is very common for children who sustain head injuries, to go pale and vomit immediately and subsequently to be sleepy. This should not cause undue alarm. If in doubt, call an Ambulance.

  1. Swelling of the skull on either sides of the head, just above the ears, should be taken seriously and needs medical attention.
  2. The single most important factor after head injury is progressive drowsiness.

The type to watch out for is that which comes on following a period of lucidity after a head injury and is progressive. This requires immediate, urgent medical attention.

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