Podcast 743: Rust Rings - The Emergency Medical Minute

Podcast 743: Rust Rings

Contributor: Jared Scott, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • A rust ring can occur after a metallic foreign body is left in the eye for a prolonged period of time
  • Issues occur when the rust ring is left as it can epithelialize and become a permanent spot in the patient’s vision
  • An eye burr or Alger brush can help to gouge out the rust ring in the emergency setting
  • These tools have a failsafe mechanism to prevent the eye burr from going through layers past the cornea (though this does not work if the foreign body is already through the cornea)
  • Referral to ophthalmology, antibiotic drops, and dilating drops are recommended options upon discharge
  • Complications include poor wound healing, scarring, and infection


Camodeca AJ, Anderson EP. Corneal Foreign Body. [Updated 2021 Apr 26]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK536977/


Summarized by John Spartz, MS4 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD


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