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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 24(3); 2013 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2013;24(3): 302-308.
Clinical Manifestations of Chemical Eye Injury
Sung Kwon Song, Hyung Min Kim, Won Jung Jeong, Byung Hak So, Seung Pill Choi
Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Korea. sohak@catholic.ac.kr
The purpose of this study is to investigate the clinical characteristics of patients admitted to emergency rooms with ocular chemical injuries, the substances responsible for such injuries, in order to improve their prevention and treatment.
The subjects of this study were 73 patients admitted to the hospital with ocular chemical injuries from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2010. The subjects were divided into groups based on the PSS (poisoning severity score) grade of their injuries, where grades 0 and 1 were classified as the low group (low PSS) and grades 2 and 3 were classified as the high group (high PSS). There were 28 subjects in the low PSS group (38.3%) and 45 subjects in the high PSS group (61.6%). The results were retrospectively reviewed by examining the medical records of the patients.
Upon their arrival to the hospital, the most common symptoms were red eye (50.7%), pain (39.7%), and eye irritation (39.7%). Red eyes were more frequently observed from 27 persons (60%) in the high PSS group (p=0.04). The most common causative substances were chemicals and adhesives/glues for both groups (21 cases each). Among the 15 patients exposed to acids or alkalis, 13 patients belonged to the high PSS group. Only two patients visited the hospital after having washed their eyes.
Worse damage was observed from work-related exposure (including alkali or acid exposure), causing red eye and ocular chemical injuries. Onsite first aid was lacking.
Key words: Eye injuries, Chemical burn, Occupational exposure, Therapeutic irrigation, Poisoning
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