Monday, November 3, 2008

Evidence Based Wound Care


It is always kind of a shock when I find out that the way we physicians "have always done things" is not supported by the evidence. When studies prove us wrong, we need to make changes. Here are some new evidence based ways to care for wounds and lacerations:

  • Tap water is as effective as sterile water for wound irrigation and does not cause more infection. (In my prior Emergency Department days, the mantra was "irrigate the wound copiously" and we always used liters of sterile water. We should save a lot of money by using tap water.)
  • White petroleum jelly is as effective as topical antibiotics in preventing infection. (Vaseline? My mom used to use it. Who knew?)
  • For scalp lacerations, hair twisted across the wound and fixed with tissue adhesive is as effective as sutures. (sutures are needed for wounds across joints or areas that flex)
  • Keep the wound dry for 12 hours. (We used to make patients keep it dry for 24 hours)
That's the most updated information we have for wound care. Remember, washing with soap and (tap) water is the most effective thing you can do to prevent infection.

7 comments:

CountryMidwife said...

Amish put KEROSENE on any abrasion, cut or wound, no matter how big. Horrified me when I learned of it, but I have to tell you... clean well healed wounds...

Having experienced far, far too many severe sunburns in my (fair-headed, freckled) past, I can tell you -- the only thing that prevents sunburn blisters from worsening, opening, weeping and peeling is plain Vaseline. The body just resorbs the fluid, it's amazing.

Nitrile Gloves said...

Wound care should be a immediate step after the accident. Instant first aid can help you a lot to get a better service.

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Kamagra said...

in fact in a occassion I suffered a ugly infection in my right foot, a little wound, I don't taked care of then, and only two days after I couldn't walk.

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Goodness, there is so much useful information above!

Moris said...

Thank you for this post, really worthwhile data.
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Kim Gibson said...

What about Sticking Plaster for instant relief and cover.