injuries require special attention because of their potential for
damage to several of the ‘senses’, the airway and the possibility of
permanent disfigurement. Contusions, lacerations and puncture wounds
all have the capacity to permanently disfigure the patient. In the
case of the cheek and chin, injuries also may result in loss of
function if facial nerves or muscles are injured.
The eye is a
robust but delicate organ. It can sustain quite severe damage and,
with the proper treatment, recover to its former state. In some
instances however, it can suffer what would be considered a minor
injury and be permanently damaged. Consideration should always be
given to preventing eye injuries and sufficient protective measures
should be taken. Generally, eye injuries are considered as either
minor or major injuries.
Minor eye injuries
are injuries where the eye has been struck by a foreign object, or has
a small object adhering to its surface, causing irritation. It is
characterised by a bloodshot eye, irritation, and an urge to rub the
These are injuries that involve the penetration of the
body of the eye, or involve severe blunt trauma to the
eye. These injuries are characterised by blood in the
eye, penetrating objects, disturbance of vision,
protrusion of eye contents, and severe pain and spasms.
Casualty care in this case is critical, and should be
left to the experts.
Flash burn and welder’s flash is the result of staring
or inadvertently looking at the intense light caused
during metal welding, while not wearing the correct eye
protection. Care must be taken to supervise children if
welding is being conducted near them, and they should be
removed from the location. The damage caused to the
eye’s cornea by exposure to this intense light can be
painful and, in some cases, permanent.