Coma(?) question RE: Brother's Keeper : LUSENET : ER Discussions : One Thread

Toward the end, Carter tapes down Chase's eyelids.


:) Jenna

-- Jenna (, January 30, 2001


Probably in case he would involuntarly open his eyes and couldn't shut them again. He would be staring up at the lights which could damage his eyes. JMO

-- james (, January 30, 2001.

Eyelid taping for coma patients is done to protect the eye, but the bigger danger is corneal damage secondary to dryness rather than light exposure, as another person suggested. If the patient is sufficiently comatose to lack a blink reflex, the eye dries out due to lack of tears, and Bad Things start happening to the cornea and conjunctiva (corneal ulcer or corneal erosion being the worst, with less-severe keratopathies occuring down the line). To prevent that, you apply Lacrilube (a lubricating ointment) to both eyes and gently tape the lids shut.

Sometimes you see a less severe form of this phenomenon in normal patients whose eyelids, for whatever reason, don't close all the way when sleeping. For those patients, you also prescribe artificial tears during the day, then apply Lacrilube and tape the lids at night.

-- Lindsay E. Murphy (, January 31, 2001.


:) Jenna

-- Jenna (, January 31, 2001.

Hey Lindsay, just wondering but are u a doc or something?

-- Ritaann (, February 01, 2001.

I wish! :) I am going to become a physician, yes, but not for another seven or so years.

As for how I can answer some of the medical questions here, I am a pre-medical student in college, I did a four-week internship in ophthalmology at the end of high school, and I currently volunteer in an emergency department in Boston. So no, I am not a doctor, but I do know, to a certain extent, how things work and why they're done.

-- Lindsay E. Murphy (, February 02, 2001.

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