Comm Eye Health Vol. 12 No. 30 1999 pp 24. Published online 01 June 1999.

Corneal scrape

Ramesh Seewoodhary BSc

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1. The procedure is explained to the patient.

2. The patient is positioned comfortably at the slit-lamp.

3. The patient must be instructed to keep both eyes open during the procedures as blinking will only add to discomfort.

4. Local anaesthetic eye drops are instilled to the affected eye to minimise ocular discomfort and facilitate the corneal scraping procedure.

5. A sterile platinum loop or a sterile needle is used to scrape the base of the ulcer with care. This is to ensure that the infective material is reached as the micro-organisms may lie deep or at the edge of the ulcer.

6. The collected material is plated on the growth media and/or carefully spread on a glass slide. The area around the material is marked with a permanent marker if a Gram staining test has been requested.

7. At the end of the procedure, the patient is given instruction in appropriate care, i.e., handwashing, lid hygiene and instillation of an antibiotic.

8. All specimens are clearly and correctly labelled before being sent to the microbiological laboratory.