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J Wound Care. 2001 Nov;10(10):407-11.

Is tap water a safe alternative to normal saline for wound irrigation in the community setting?

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  • 1Faculty of Health, University of Western Sydney, Macarthur, Australia.



This double-blind randomised controlled trial compared the effects of tap water and normal saline on the healing and infection rates of acute and chronic wounds.


The trial was conducted in two metropolitan community health centres in New South Wales, Australia. Thirty-five patients with 49 acute or chronic wounds were randomised to receive wound irrigation with either normal saline or tap water.


Statistical analysis demonstrated there was no significant difference between the infection and healing rates in wounds irrigated with normal saline or tap water.


Although the small sample size is a limitation of this study, the researchers conclude that drinkable tap water appears to provide a safe alternative to normal saline for wound cleansing and may be preferred by some patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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