It’s all of our worst fear that we may one day accidentally slip our forceps beyond the pad into a client’s eye, that our adhesive may enter the eye, the client may have a severe reaction to the cyanoacrylate, receive a chemical burn in their eye or laceration or irritation from under eye pads or any other variation of crisis. It is imperative that you create a direct plan of action that you and your staff may reference during a crisis where panic may be setting in. A focused plan will help you keep your head on straight and act in a professional, educated and efficient manor to remedy the issue to the best of your ability. You should also have a plan in place for an emotional crisis such as your client being displeased with your work!
Step one is to obtain MSDS sheets from your adhesive manufacturer for both adhesives and remover products and keep several printed copies on hand readily available to all staff at a moment’s notice. If you chose to use gel pads, lash poo primer or any other product, create a document with all possible products that may be used on the client and their ingredients so that that information can be accessed easily as well on the fly.MSDS stands for Material Safety Data Sheet. On the MSDS sheet will be the specific instructions with how to handle a certain chemical or compound in the case of fire, spillage, contact with skin or eyes, etc. In some cases you may have to show these sheets when attaining insurance or be required by your state or state board to have these sheets on premises any way, so consider it good practice.
Step two is to create a safety plan. List out possible emergency situations and how you would like them handled. For example:
Adhesive enters the clients’ eye: Because Cyanoacrylate cures immediately with water if adhesive enters the eye it will not pool or cover the eye, it will harden almost instantly. It may adhere to the conjunctiva (the skin of the eye) or the skin of the lid, however and bond the eye shut. Generally the clients own tears will work to open the eye over a period of time but this is still an emergency situation. Your plan of action should be as follows.
Adhesive entering the client’s eye
Preface: If this occurs the most important thing is for the client’s eye to remain shut. You will follow the flushing steps first and then patch the eye. Normally the natural tears will allow the eye to open within 24 to 48 hours if the eye is bonded closed. The management of cyanoacrylate eye injury is varied once your client arrives at the hospital they may patch the eye and allow it to open spontaneously, use irrigation, saline padding, pressure patching, mineral oil, acetone swabs, sodium bicarbonate, bandage contact lens, removal of the glue pieces with forceps, trimming of the eyelashes and worst case, surgical separation of lid. The treatment is largely based on individual case, and is the same for all variants of cyanoacrylate domestic, industrial and medical. Some types of Cyanoacrylate when spilled in large amounts result in a powerful and rapid reaction with cotton wool or cotton balls or any type of fabric causing a fire. It’s VERY important to flush the eye area with saline to ensure that the adhesive has fully cured and wait a period of at least two minutes before applying a cotton based eye patch. Cyanoacrylate entering the eye (excluding cases of forced opening) does not seem to cause any significant mechanical, chemical, or toxic injuries the ocular structures.
1. Inform the client of the accident and let them know to NOT open their eye for ANY reason. (A forced separation will could cause damage to the eye)
2. Begin to flush the eye area with water or saline solution for at least 5-7 min. Have the client tilt their head to the side and place a small bowl or towel near their temple to catch the liquid. This will fully cure wet adhesive but may not help to open the eye so remind client to NOT open their eye.
3. Apologize for your mistake and try to ease their stress by providing some of the information in your preface so they know what to expect as far as severity of the case and possible treatment.
4. After flushing for at least 5-7 min (up to 15 min may be required for severe cases or where more than a pea size have been spilt) inspect to make sure that the adhesive has cured. At this point you may see a white frost which is normal. After you’re sure the spilled adhesive has cured take a cotton round and tape and patch the eye to keep it closed.
5. Give the client a copy of the MSDS sheets for both adhesive and remover and send them, with a bottle of remover, immediately to the nearest emergency room.
3. Inform the client that you will be covering any medical expenses. (This may be difficult for you financially but depending on your insurance you may need to place a claim in order to properly provide for the client in their time of need.)
4. Follow up with the client within 24 hours for a status report from their doctor.
Your plans should all be this detailed. Your preface should contain valuable facts and information so that during the crisis you can maintain your professionalism and be able to properly provide facts and information that will help ease client fears until they can get to the doctor for help.