Emergency Visit to the Ophthalmologist

Posted on May 20, 2012

I was lazing around, being a couch potato all afternoon when my mother called my attention. She said her right eye was really painful. She was cutting some withered leaves from a plant outside of our dirty kitchen when she felt a stinging pain in her eye. So I told her to rinse her eye with clean, running water for 10 minutes. Remember, as a nurse you should always be ready how to do first aid for an eye irritation. I was checking on her every so often then I remembered to ask what the plant was. She told me to search for its name on her Facebook timeline, said she read an article saying that it can cause permanent blindness.

I googled Dangerous Plants instead and clicked Images. It was Deiffenbachia or more commonly known as Dumb Cane. Find out more about it here. Most if not all Filipino homes have this kind of plant. I browsed articles talking about it and decided soon after to rush Mama to the Emergency Room. To make the story short, we ended up in Western Visayas Medical Center because it is the only tertiary hospital in Iloilo City with a resident ophthalmologist on duty.

Mama being interviewed by the resident doctor.

The doctor let Mama read an ETRDS eye chart, examined her left and right eyes, and interviewed her about the incident. Mama wasn’t sure whether some sap or a part of the plant got into her eye and she was even wearing her eye glasses when it happened. The doctor insisted that she make it clear as they are managed differently but Mama cannot remember and she wasn’t able to see what entered into her eye, anyway. She said that she saw a small wound in the eye but just to make sure, she managed it like some sap got in too. She asked me to buy a bottle of Lactated Ringer’s Solution and a macro set. She retracted Mama’s right eye and irrigated it for 5 minutes or so. After which, she prescribed Mama an anti-infective and asked her to return for a follow-up check-up after five days.

That’s Gatifloxacin Eye Drops.

That simple incident led us to spending more than P500. That’s P111.00 for the PLR and P414.00 for the anti-infective, one drop to be given every 4 hours. I just gave Mama her second dose of the anti-infective. Her right eye is slightly swollen and she’s still complaining of stinging pain. I hope her eye gets better tomorrow. What happened this afternoon surely reminded her to throw away that bothersome plant.

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