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Am J Surg. 1981 Mar;141(3):358-9.

Effect of washing closed head and neck wounds on wound healing and infection.


A group of 100 patients were compared with 100 control patients. Both groups had either traumatic or surgically incised clean wounds of the head and neck. The groups were similar except that the 100 test patients were allowed to wash their head and neck wounds with soap and water within hours after the repair, while the control group kept their wounds dry until all of the sutures were removed. On the basis of this study, we believe that allowing patients to wash their wounds and bathe routinely as early as 8 hours after wound closure hs no effect on wound or infection. We believe that good technique during surgery for incision or laceration closure is much more important than any manipulation of the wound or of the general body systems.

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