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You Glued the Eye Shut – What Now?

May 8, 2020

Written by Clay Smith

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If you accidentally glue someone’s eye shut, soaking the eye in dexamethasone, neomycin, polymyxin B eyedrops for two hours was most effective at loosening histoacryl tissue adhesive.

Why does this matter?
If you’ve used tissue adhesive, you know it can flow where you don’t want it to go. A worst case is if it glues the eyelid shut. Personally, I don’t use it near the eye. But if this happens, what should you do?

Inadvertent tissue adhesive tarsorrhaphy…really? Just say you glued the eye shut…
These authors reviewed the literature and then trialed 24 compounds on glued pigskin to see which was most effective at removing histoacryl tissue adhesive. Soaking (vs rubbing) a wound in dexamethasone, neomycin, polymyxin B eyedrops was most effective at opening wound edges at two hours. This is called Polydexa in Singapore; Maxitrol in the U.S. All other compounds, such as petroleum jelly, KY jelly, artificial tears, and other antibiotic drops failed.

Inadvertent tissue adhesive tarsorrhaphy of the eyelid: a review and exploratory trial of removal methods of Histoacryl. Emerg Med J. 2020 Apr;37(4):212-216. doi: 10.1136/emermed-2019-209177. Epub 2020 Jan 9.

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What are your thoughts?