Use of the litmus paper in the chemical eye injury
Report By: Mr. Abdualla zentani - Staff Grade Emergency medicine
Search checked by Jane Burslem - Assistant Librarian, Fairfield General Hospital
Institution: Fairfield General Hospital , Bury
Date Submitted: 26th June 2009
Date Completed: 17th December 2009
Last Modified: 18th December 2009
Status: Green (complete)
Three Part Question
In [patients presenting to the Emergency Department with chemical eye injury ] is [litmus eye paper] [accurate in measuring the eye PH ]?
A 25 year old factory worker presents to the ED with a history of painful red right eye following chemical exposure at work , the eye ph was checked with the litmus paper which gave reading of ph 7.8, the eye was irrigated thoroughly then the eye ph checked again - which was 7.2. You want to know accuracy of the litmus paper before discharging the patient
Medline via OVID interface (1950 – August 2009, week 3)and EMBASE (1980–2009 week 35).
exp Eye OR eye.mp OR exp Tear or tear.mp] AND [litmus.mp] AND [pH.mp OR acid$.mp OR alkali.mp]
No papers were found from either search.
Chemical eye injury represents one of the true ophthalmic emergencies which can result from acidic or alkaline compounds. The main aim of the treatment is to maintain the eye pH within the normal limit of 7.0–7.2. Litmus paper is the quickest and easiest way to assess the eye following chemical eye injury.
Clinical Bottom Line
There is no evidence showing whether litmus paper is accurate in assessing eye pH.