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This Policy describes the procedure to be followed for administering eye drops to a service user as part of a prescribed medication protocol. THIS PROCEDURE MUST ONLY BE CARRIED OUT BY APPROPRIATELY QUALIFIED CARE STAFF.


The following equipment will be needed to administer an eye ointment to the service user:

  • Sterile swabs

  • Sterile water

  • Appropriate eye drops, checked and verified against prescription as relevant


1. Explain the procedure to the service user.

2. If there is any discharge from the eyes, carefully remove any infected matter with a sterile swab and sterile water to facilitate absorption of the eye drops.

3. Ensure the following are checked:

  • The bottle label against the Medicines Administration Record

  • Which eye the drops are prescribed for

  • The expiry date and date of opening of the bottle

4. Assist the service user into the correct position with the head tilted well back and supported.

5. Wash hands and dry thoroughly.

6. Place a moist swab on the lower eyelid against the eyelid margin to absorb any excess solution which may irritate the surrounding skin.

7. Ask the service user to look up before instilling the drops. This allows the drops to be instilled into the outer side of the lower fornix to avoid corneal damage and discomfort. Instil the drops without touching the eyelid or cornea but from no further away than one inch.

8. To ensure absorption, ask the service user to close their eyes. Keep the moist cotton wool swab on the lower lid for a few minutes.

9. Warn the service user that when the eye opens, vision may be blurred for a few minutes. Make the service user comfortable.

10. Remove and dispose of equipment and wash and dry hands thoroughly.

11. Record the administration of the eye drops on the Medicines Administration Record. Monitor any side effects and report any abnormalities or adverse reactions to the drops.


Form No: 3-302 Medicine Administration Record

Form No: 3-303 Medicine Administration Record - Monthly Record

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