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J Hosp Infect. 2006 Apr;62(4):446-9. Epub 2006 Feb 20.

Does pulse lavage reduce hip hemiarthroplasty infection rates?

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Orthopaedic Department, SW Thanes, Frimley Park Hospital, Portsmouth Road, GU16 Frimley, UK.


This paper reports a prospective randomized trial involving four hospitals in the south of England, in which every hemiarthroplasty (American Association of Anaesthetists grade IV and above) was randomized to one of two limbs. In the first group, the patients received a 2-L pulse lavage normal saline washout; in the second group, they received a 2-L normal saline washout via a jug or a syringe. All wounds were reviewed during their time in hospital up to 30 days post surgery or discharge (using criteria from the Nosocomial Infection National Surveillance Survey). Any re-admissions for infection were recorded. The pulse lavage group had a significantly lower total infection rate and, specifically, a decreased 'joint space' or deep infection rate.

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