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J Pediatr Surg. 2004 Dec;39(12):1871-3.

Pediatric clean surgical wounds: is dressing necessary?

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Department of Pediatric Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan.



The covering of the sutured surgical wound with a sterile dressing is usually considered a routine conclusion to an aseptic operation. The wound is usually left dressed for a minimum of 3 to 5 days. The main purpose of dressing is protection of the wound against bacterial contamination that remains a significant source of postoperative morbidity. The aim of this study was to compare the infectious local risk when the clean pediatric surgical wounds were dressed or left exposed without dressing after the completion of wound closure.


Four hundred fifty-one patients with clean surgical wounds were randomized prospectively to receive dressing (n = 216) or have their wounds left exposed without any dressing (n = 235) after the completion of wound closure.


In the group that received wound dressing, wound infection developed in 3 patients (1.4%), whereas in the group that had wounds exposed without any dressing, 4 patients (1.7%) developed wound infection.


In children, there was no significant difference in terms of wound infection after applying dressing or leaving the clean surgical wounds exposed without any dressing after completion of wound closure. Dressing clean surgical wounds may be unnecessary.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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