High and low pressure irrigation in contaminated wounds with exposed bone. Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • BACKGROUND: Irrigation and debridement are essential in the initial management of traumatic wounds. The relative efficicacy of low pressure irrigation compared with high pressure irrigation remains unclear. AIMS: The purpose of this study was to examine the time dependent efficacy of both high and low pressure lavage in removing adherent bacteria from traumatic wounds with exposed bone. METHODS: Using an in-vivo model, we created bilateral Staphylococcus aureus contaminated femoral wounds in 30 mice. The wounds were incubated for 1 to 10 hours and lavaged with either high (70 psi) or low pressure lavage (1-2 psi). The mean colony forming units of bacteria were compared between groups at each time point. RESULTS: High and low pressure lavage were effective in removing adherent bacteria from contaminated wounds up to 8 hours and 4 hours, respectively. High pressure lavage was more effective than low pressure at every time point. CONCLUSION: The efficacy of low pressure lavage in wounds with exposed bone is questionable when irrigation is delayed beyond 4 hours.

publication date

  • 2000