UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Misc

Title: Wound Repair

Keywords: Wound, Repair (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/30/2011 by Michael Bond, MD
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Wound Repair

A pearl last year addressed the irrigation of wound and the fact that the type of fluid (sterile versus tap water) does not affect infection rates but rather the volume of irrigation is most important.

Sterile versus unsterile gloves have also been studied, and it turns out that clean unsterile gloves have the same rate of infection as sterile gloves but come with a substantial cost savings.

When caring for a contaminated wound it is most important to remove any gross contamination, and then irrigate the wound as much as possible.  A 20 mL syringe with an 18G angio-catheter provides the proper pressure to remove debris without causing tissue damage. The wound can then be closed wearing the gloves that are most comfortable or accessible to you.

Finally, from a medicolegal standpoint it is always best to inform the patient that you have tried to remove all of the contamination but there is still a chance that the wound can get infected.