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Evid Based Nurs 10:113 doi:10.1136/ebn.10.4.113
  • Treatment

Irrigation of simple lacerations with tap water or sterile saline in the emergency department did not differ for wound infections


 
 Q In patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) with simple lacerations, is wound irrigation with tap water equivalent to irrigation with sterile saline for wound infections?

METHODS

GraphicDesign:

randomised controlled trial.

GraphicAllocation:

unclear.

GraphicBlinding:

blinded (outcome assessors).

GraphicFollow-up period:

5–14 days after wound closure.

GraphicSetting:

2 urban trauma centres and 1 suburban community hospital in the US.

GraphicPatients:

713 patients >17 years of age who presented to the ED with acute uncomplicated skin lacerations requiring staples or sutures. Exclusion criteria were puncture or bite wounds; self inflicted wounds; grossly contaminated wounds; wounds >8 hours old; wounds involving tendon, joint, or bone; diabetes; significant peripheral vascular disease; HIV or immunocompromised conditions; use of antibiotics or corticosteroids; or pregnancy.

GraphicIntervention:

339 patients were allocated to tap water irrigation. Patients with upper extremity wounds were instructed to irrigate their wounds for ⩾2 minutes …

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