E-cig liquid mistaken as eye liquid made a woman suffer eye injury

October 20, 2016 15:28
E-cig liquid mistaken as eye liquid made a woman suffer eye injury

A woman of 50, recently prescribed with antibiotic drops for bacterial conjunctivitis, stored them next to her e-cigarette liquid in her bathroom and mistakenly used the e-cigarette liquid in her eyes. She has experienced pain, redness and blurred vision. She flushed her eye with water and went straight to the hospital with eye irritation

Users should be aware that the bottles look similar at a glance and the nicotine-laced fluid carried no warnings about harmful eye contact. Chemical tests revealed that the refill liquid had a pH of 6 - more acidic than tears. But because she rinsed her eye immediately, she ensured no damage was done to the delicate epithelial cells in her eye.

Co-author of the journal JAMA Ophthalmology David Lockington said that, “There have been increasing reports of severe ocular injury (including globe rupture) from e-cigarette explosions, both in the eye literature and in the mainstream media.”

'As far as we know, inadvertent administration of E-Cig liquid to the eye instead of eye-drops has not been previously reported in the ophthalmic journals.' The patient only experienced superficial ocular surface damage, which was resolved with treatment, he said.

The similarly shaped bottles were misleading, regardless of their shape, medical products should be stored away from any similar products, he said.

Dr Lockington added: 'There is no warning information on the side of these e-cig liquid bottles or in the product information regarding the potential danger of a chemical injury to the eyes, or the emergency treatment. 'This is an oversight which should be addressed by the industry.'

Irina Stepanov, from the University of Minnesota, said: 'This is a disturbing report, and it is fortunate that it happened in a bathroom where she had access to running water.'

By Premji

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