Comparison of Irrigation Times Using Gravity and High-Pressure Lavage Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • The benefits of high-pressure pulsatile lavage for open fracture irrigation have been controversial based on conflicting experimental animal research. Recently published data definitively demonstrated that irrigation pressure does not affect the incidence of reoperation for the treatment of open fractures. However, proponents of pulsatile lavage argue a faster irrigation time is an important benefit of the high-pressure treatment. The purpose of this study was to determine the difference in irrigation time between gravity and high-pressure lavage. The experimental setup was designed to mimic clinical practice and compared mean irrigation flow times for high-pressure pulsatile lavage and gravity flow with 2 commonly used tube diameters. Each irrigation setup was tested 5 times at 3 different irrigation bag heights. Analysis of variance and Student's t tests were used to compare the mean flow times of 3 irrigation methods at each height and among the 3 heights for each irrigation method. The mean irrigation flow time in the various experimental models ranged from 161 to 243 seconds. Gravity irrigation with wide tubing was significantly faster than pulsatile lavage or gravity with narrow tubing (P<.001). Increasing irrigation bag height had only a marginal effect on the overall flow times (<9% difference). The difference in mean flow time among the testing techniques was slightly longer than 1 minute, which is unlikely to have a material impact on procedural costs, operating times, and subsequent gains in patient safety. [Orthopedics. 2017; 40(3):e413-e416.].

authors

  • Muscatelli, Stefano
  • Howe, Andrea
  • O'Hara, Nathan N
  • O'Toole, Robert V
  • Sprague, Sheila Ann
  • Slobogean, Gerard P

publication date

  • May 2017