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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 309

Conjunctival injury due to intra venous cannula

1 Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Anaesthesiology, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Shivendu Bansal
5, Saraswati Enclave, Plot No. 26/3, Sector-9, Rohini, New Delhi-110085
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1658-354X.101235

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Date of Web Publication21-Sep-2012

How to cite this article:
Bansal S, Solanki SL. Conjunctival injury due to intra venous cannula. Saudi J Anaesth 2012;6:309

How to cite this URL:
Bansal S, Solanki SL. Conjunctival injury due to intra venous cannula. Saudi J Anaesth [serial online] 2012 [cited 2022 Jun 27];6:309. Available from:


The postoperative period in the post anesthesia care unit (PACU) is a very crucial period for a patient. Efforts are always being made to reduce the morbidities and mortalities during this period for which patients are shifted to the PACU for proper monitoring till the effect of anesthesia weans off. [1] We herein report a case where conjunctival injury occurred in a child due to the intravenous cannula that was placed on the dorsum of his hand. This happened in a 1-year-old male child who underwent exploratory laparotomy for acute intestinal obstruction. After an uneventful surgery, the child was shifted to the PACU for close monitoring. The child was slightly irritable after surgery. The child's mother was accompanying the child in the PACU. She told the PACU nursing staff that the child had rubbed his right eye with the dorsum of the hand on which the intravenous cannula was put, and that the eye was red and bleeding. Ophthalmology opinion was taken immediately, on which conjunctival injury was confirmed. Fortunately, the injury was not on the cornea; otherwise, the condition could have been worse. The injury probably occurred from the cannula that was placed on the dorsum of the right hand.

Various precautions and measures are taken to prevent ophthalmic injuries during the intraoperative period, but what about the postoperative period? Adult patients do have an understanding about the consequences of injury to the eyes and so they avoid such instances, but a small child may not. Moreover, this can happen in patients of any age group unconsciously while they recover from general anesthesia. Similar eye injuries have been reported due to placement of a pulse oximeter probe on the index finger, for which it was advised to place it on the ring finger. [2] One measure that can prevent such intravenous cannula-related ophthalmic injuries is to put the cannula on the forearm wherever possible and also to provide clear and strict instruction to the PACU nursing staff as well as the patient's relatives about prevention of such injuries.

  References Top

1.Postanesthesia Care. In: Edward G, Morgan Jr, Mikhail MS, Murray MJ, editors. Clinical Anesthesiology, 4 th ed. Singapore: McGraw Hill; 2008. p. 1001-2.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Brock-Utne JG, Botz G, Jaffe RA. Perioperative corneal abrasion. Anesthesiology 1992; 77(1): 221.  Back to cited text no. 2


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