Intended for healthcare professionals


CS gas injury to the eye

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 29 July 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:276
  1. Jean-Paul Yih
  1. Senior house officer Moorfields Eye Hospital, London EC1V 2PD

    Blowing dry air on to the eye is preferable to irrigation

    Ocular injuries with acid or alkaline are common and may have devastating consequences.1 Recently the number of cases of assault in which O-chlorobenzylidene malononitrile (CS) gas aerosol has been used as the weapon has been increasing. Victims have been sprayed on the face and eyes at close range. Although the sale of CS gas to individuals is illegal in Britain, the gas is still available.2

    The compound is supplied as a white solid, which when disseminated characteristically forms a smoke of minute droplets or particles. Being highly soluble in water, it irritates mucous membranes and causes a pronounced local reaction within seconds of contact. The toxic basis of its affects is uncertain …

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