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Topical steroid use in the treatment of ocular alkali burns
  1. Astrups Gate 3, Box 776, N-6501 Kristiansund, Norway

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      Editor,—The article by Davis et al1 mentions the use of 10% vitamin C eye drops with a pH 5.5–6.5 and the authors specify potassium ascorbate. Preparing for a future emergency I made vitamin C eye drops in my office by putting ordinary Norwegian vitamin C tablets in 10 ml saline and found the pH to be 3! I then realised that my vitamin C tablets were ascorbic acid. Therefore, ophthalmologists should be warned: vitamin C could be ascorbic acid or acetate. The ophthalmologist need not prepare homemade vitamin C eye drops in the emergency room. The pharmacist should prepare the eye drops, using either potassium or sodium ascorbate.



      Editor,—Dr Oether makes two important points with regard to the treatment of ocular alkali burns. We would agree that it is crucial to optimise outcome that topical potassium ascorbate drops are readily available for emergency use. Equally, we would agree that pharmacists, in an appropriately controlled environment,should perform the manufacture of these drops.