Worst-Case Wednesday: How to Deal With Wedding-Related Injuries—Getting Hit in the Eye with the Bouquet

Posted by Basia Padlo

At a wedding reception, you either love or hate the bouquet toss. If you're like me, you hate it, and you edge to the far back of the pack and try to hide behind someone taller than you. If you're lucky, there's someone at the front, poised like a linebacker. She is going to catch that thing no matter what, and you know you're safe and off the hook until the next wedding rolls around.

If you're unlucky, like me, or if you're the linebacker at the front of the group, accidents happen. One second, you're watching the bouquet fly through the air, and the next, you've an eye full of carnations. Thankfully, The Worst-Case Scenario Handbook: Weddings tells us how to handle such catastrophes.

Read on, and for those of you preparing for a wedding, enter our giveaway below. You can win copies of Wedding Dogs, The Bride's Instruction Manual, The Groom's Instruction Manual, The Newlyweds Instruction Manual, and Stuff Every Husband Should Know. We'll pick five winners early next week. 

Check the eye for swelling.
If the eyelid is swollen shut and covering the eyeball, reduce the swelling before continuing with treatment. Place a handful of ice in a cloth napkin and twist it closed. Wrap it in a second napkin and place it on the injured eye for 15 minutes, removing it occasionally to check swelling.

Examine the cornea.
Under a bright overhead light or pointing a flashlight at the injured eye, instruct the victim to look in all directions and blink repeatedly. Carefully examine the sclera (the white of the eye) and the cornea (the layer covering the pupil and iris) for any foreign material: petal shards, pieces of stem, or leaves.

Assemble irrigation equipment.
Obtain a clean, unusued liquor spout from the bartender. Place the pourer on a bottle of flat spring water or a bottle filled with cool tap water.

Irrigate the cornea.
With the victim seated and her head tilted so she is looking up at the ceiling, gently push her eyelids back and away from the cornea using your thumb and forefinger. From a low height, delicately pour a steady stream of cool water on the eyeball. Occasionally wipe the area aorund the eye socket with a clean napkin.

Check the eye.
After a full bottle has been poured, dry the area and check the eyeball for remaining foreign material. If any material is still present, repeat irrigation with a second bottle of water.

Check for corneal abrasion.
Instruct the victim to look in all directions and blink repeatedly for several seconds. If she reports blurred vision, discomfort, or notes a sensation of something in her eye, a corneal abrasion may be present. Seek medical attention immediately.


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