Evidence Based Wound Care And Treatment

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.


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