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If You Have to Move the Casualty

Eye Wounds and Embedded Objects

Cuts to the eye can be very frightening and even small, difficult to notice injuries are potentially very serious. However, medical treatments mean that even injuries that appear to be very severe may not necessarily result in the loss of sight in the eye. Do not touch the afficted eye.

Signs and symptoms of eye wounds

  • Knowing that something has impacted with the eye - this could be as small as a grain of sand or a splinter
  • Pain in the eye
  • Loss or limitation of vision
  • Bleeding


Prevent further injury and get medical help as soon as possible.

  1. Lie the person down, on his back if possible, and hold the head to prevent movement and keep it stable.
  2. Ask the person to try to keep his eyes still to prevent movement of the injured eye. Ask the person to focus on something to prevent movement.
  3. Ask the casualty to hold a clean pad over the eye to help prevent movement and infection. lf the wait for an ambulance or other further help may take some time, you may wish to hold the pad for the person or to gently bandage it in place. However, as blood loss from the eye area is not likely to be life-threatening, any bandage should be used only to hold the pad in place and not to apply pressure.

Do not attempt to remove any object embedded in the eye. If the object is very long, then gently support it to prevent movement at its base. If small, ensure that the pad you place over the eye does not push it in any further.

Treating an object embedded in the wound

The first step in the treatment of any external bleeding is to check the extent of the injury and see if there is anything embedded in the wound.

  1. Apply pressure around the edges of the wound using your hands or the casualty's hands without pressing on the object.
  2. Replace this pressure with a dressing or clean material and bandage firmly in place, avoiding pressure on the object.
  3. Raise the injured limb if possible to staunch the flow of blood.
  4. Prevent longer objects from moving by supporting them with your hands or by packing around the base of the object with blankets, for example.
  5. Treat for shock and reassure the casualty.

If the casualty is impaled on something which cannot be moved, support him or her to stop them from pulling on the impaled object and causing further damage. Where possible, treat the casualty as described above, and ensure that the emergency services are aware of the need for cutting equipment. For further information on impalement.


If there is something stuck into the injury, do not attempt to remove it because:

  • If the object went in at an angle, you may cause more damage pulling it out
  • You may leave splinters in the wound
  • The object may be pressing against a vein or an artery, reducing blood loss
  • You may have mistaken a broken bone for a foreign body

The principles of applying pressure and elevating and treating for shock still apply.

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Disclaimer: website is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. Always take the advice of professional health care for specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment. We will not be liable for any complications, or other medical accidents arising from the use of any information on this web site. Please note that medical information is constantly changing. Therefore some information may be out of date.