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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.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

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.

METHOD:

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.

RESULTS:

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

CONCLUSION:

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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