Interview with Norbert Schrage, Head of ophthalmology in Germany: ‘Diphoterine is very strong when the corrosive chemical is intense.’
Ophthalmology expert Norbert Schrage looks back on his career and his management of chemical burns in the eyes for HSE Solutions.
PREVOR: What do you do?
Norbert Schrage: I’m Head of Ophthalmology in Cologne. I treat people who have had accidents at work and at home. I’m also Chairman of an ophthalmology research institute at Aachen.
PREVOR: What chemicals that have caused accidents have you encountered in your career?
NS: Strong acids, hydrochloric and sulphuric acid, as well as sodium, alkalis, hydroxyl potassium, and hypochlorites.
PREVOR: Is water an effective solution for chemical splashes?
NS: With water, people find it difficult to open their eyes. The water is transferred outside the tissue, with Diphoterine®, the product really washes out the eye. I clearly saw the physical decontamination with the substances that penetrated the tissue evacuated with Diphoterine®. The surface of the cornea is normalised, there is a repercussion, meaning we can see that the vessels have been impacted after rinsing.
PREVOR: Why is Diphoterine® stronger than other rinsing solutions?
NS: I published this in a thirty-year retrospective study comparing different types of rinsing and corrosive chemicals, Diphoterine® is very strong when the corrosive chemical is intense. Unlike other rinsing solutions, Diphoterine® relieves the pain but, from a wound healing point of view, there is not much difference. With sodium, there is a big statistical difference.
PREVOR: Does Diphoterine® instantaneously remove the pain?
NS: Many injured people have already felt the experience of the pain being taken away; they ask me for the substance because it takes away the pain caused by corrosive chemical splashes in the eyes. They came to the SAMU to exchange to box without having been injured. At home, people rinse with water or not at all. However, If you are blinded or your vision is blurred, it’s not easy to find these water rinsing stations. With Diphoterine®, this isn’t a problem at all because people can find the product and use it on the injured person. They are trained to do this.