Foreign Objects

Foreign Objects

A foreign object is any object, large or small, that finds its way into the body, either entering through wounds or entering the body through orifices such as the ear, nose and eye. You should always wear disposable gloves when treating a casualty. Seek medical attention unless the incident is extremely minor. Calm and reassure the casualty at all times.




May cause infection and/ or perforation of the ear drum

May cause infection and difficulty in breathing. Could cause nose bleeds due to vessel damage

May cause damage to the eye either by puncture wound or surface scratch




Make no attempt to remove the object

Where possible ask the casualty to breathe through their mouth

The eye will be itchy but advise the casualty not to rub

Cover the ear with a dry sterile dressing

Ask the casualty to open the eye wide, pull the top lid up and bottom lid down

Advise the casualty to seek qualified medical assistance

Look into the eye and see if you can see the object

Ask the casualty to look up. Down, left and right as eye movement will produce tears which may flush out the object

Cover the eye with a dry sterile dressing

Small splinters

Splinters are foreign objects that embed themselves into the skin, either fully or partially. Splinters injuries are often surprisingly painful and are common occurrence that can be caused by many things such as:

  • Shards of glass
  • Splinter of wood
  • Splinter of plastic
  • Silver of metal


  • Possible pain at the site of the injury
  • Visibility of the splinter
  • Possible swelling at the site of the injury
  • There may be an associated bleed

Treatment (Partially embedded)

  • Put on your disposable gloves
  • Clean the surrounding area of the splinter
  • Ensure that your tweezers are sterile
  • Draw the splinter out in the direction of the entry route
  • Monitor for signs of infection

Treatment (Fully Embedded)

  • Put on your disposable gloves
  • Clean the area surrounding the splinter
  • With fully embedded splinters incorporate a drawing technique which is:
  1. Cover the splinter with a plaster and leave over night
  2. Remove the plaster and see if the splinter has been drawn out either fully or partially