Medical & Surgical Ophthalmology

Interview Josep M. Martí i Rigau

There are interviews that we are very excited to do, and this is one of them. Josep M.ª Martí Rigau is a patient of the Instituto Oftalmológico OMIQ, who was treated in the emergency room by Dr. Souki, after suffering a serious domestic accident in Sant Cugat del Vallès, after burning his eyes with a caustic soda preparation.

Good morning Josep Maria, tell us what happened to you on February 13 last year.

An absurd domestic problem. I wanted to unclog a drain at home and mixed products such as sulfuric acid and caustic soda. There was an explosion and I was hit by many red-hot grains of soda.

I suffered burns on my head, face and, above all, my eyes. Terrible pain, no vision and a lot of anguish.

What was your concern after the accident?

The concern outweighed the physical pain. I thought that in a second I had changed my life completely. Without vision I would not be able to continue working (audiovisual media, newspapers, books…), I would not be able to drive, read, or go on the great journeys that I have always been passionate about. Not even going alone to a market and picking the fruit… All in all, a terrible feeling. I would become a problem for my family. Desperate…

Experience with Omiq

Tell us about your experience when you arrived at the Instituto Oftalmología Médica y Quirúrgica OMIQ in Sant Cugat del Vallès.

I was transferred by my daughter Mireia who, fortunately, was at home and decided to wash my eyes with water and take me to the Hospital General de Catalunya. My feeling when I arrived was one of confusion, I could hardly see anything and only out of my left eye. I began to hear different voices reassuring me and encouraging me. I began to perceive an extraordinary treatment and I was able to calm down a little.

Did you feel well cared for? Did the OMIQ team treat you well?

A lot. They were very tense moments, but I could perceive very professional medical care and a human warmth that I will never forget. I could not see the faces of those who attended me, but they spoke to me gently. Dr. Souki determined that every 2 minutes I should have drops put in both eyes. Three members of the team took turns attending me in the box for hours: Alex, Eva and Esther. Later in the evening, this function was performed by my wife and daughter.

Were you aware that this was a rare accident?

Yes, that’s right. The chemical mixture I made was irresponsible. I know that sometimes patients with eye burns come in, but due to work-related accidents. Being at home, quietly, it doesn’t have to happen.

A reassuring team

How do you remember that moment?

I remember three moments of great emotional impact: first the accident, the pain, the anguish and the transfer. Secondly, the arrival at the ophthalmologic institute, the rush, the eye examinations… and thirdly, the medical attention combined with reassuring, affectionate words… it was then that I was reassured to see that I was in good hands.

Are you satisfied with the performance of Dr. Souki?

It was fortunate to have Dr. Souki, cornea specialist. He took control of the situation, examining me, checking that my drops were being administered, talking to me, reassuring me… Fantastic care. Out of 10. When he told me that we were going to save my left eye, it made me happy. In the end it was the two of them. I am aware that I am able to see normally again thanks to Dr. Souki and the Institute team. I will always be very grateful to you.

What is your vision today?

Very recovered. I wear progressive glasses that allow me to have a normal life. The corneas have recovered and I would almost say have been strengthened. Great.

Are you still in treatment?

The treatment was long and intense. I am currently scheduled for periodic check-ups, something that allows me to return to the Institute and personally greet those who so generously assisted me on that cold Thursday in February 2020.

How important are the eyes, don’t you think?

I had always considered sight to be the most important sense. At least for me. The night of the accident allowed me to corroborate this assessment. The long time that I was unable to see anything, during the transfer and in the box I had an anxious feeling, thinking that life had changed me for the worse. Eyes, vision, are a precious asset that must be cared for.

Opinion of Dr. Spyridoula Souki

It has been a pleasure to assist and help in such a critical situation. An accident at home or at work can change a person’s life in a moment. Ocular chemical burns represent an emergency that requires immediate attention by an ophthalmologist specializing in cornea and ocular surface.

Eliminating chemical agents during the acute phase by eyewash, continuous serum irrigation and specific local treatment helps to stop the damage to the eyes caused by the offending agent. On the contrary, it rapidly penetrates the cornea, which is a transparent tissue, which can become opaque to a variable degree and diminish vision. In addition, it can irreversibly damage intraocular structures, leading to the development of chronic eye diseases with unfavorable visual prognosis.

There are several factors that influence the visual recovery from a chemical burn, such as the nature of the offending agent, the contact time, the time to start eyewash, but also the time it takes to be attended by a specialist. In this case, the good reflexes of the patient and his family, coming to our center immediately and establishing a specific treatment a few minutes after the accident, allow us to speak today of a complete recovery of vision, with no sequelae for the cornea and ocular surface.

There are many occasions that allow us to meet interesting people and, as in this case and under exceptional circumstances, to contribute to their health care.

Active clinical trials

Dry eye

Duration: 6 weeks
Treatment: drops

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