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Am J Emerg Med. 1999 Mar;17(2):121-4.

Low- versus high-pressure irrigation techniques in Staphylococcus aureus-inoculated wounds.

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Emergency Medicine Residency of the Lehigh Valley, St. Luke's Hospital, Bethlehem, PA 18015, USA.


Current teaching emphasizes the importance of high-pressure (5 to 8 pounds per square inch [psi]) irrigation of traumatic wounds. The purpose of this study was to compare the irrigation efficacy, in an animal wound model, of the traditional higher-pressure, lower-volume (HPLV) syringe and catheter method of wound irrigation with a novel lower-pressure, higher-volume (LPHV) "port" method of irrigation. Experimental rat wounds were inoculated and incubated for 1 to 5 hours with a pathogenic strain of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, then irrigated with one of the two methods. Irrigation times, mean irrigation pressures, and bacterial removal of the two techniques were compared. LPHV irrigation times were one third those of the HPLV. Mean irrigation pressures were 8.8 psi for HPLV and 1.6 psi for LPHV. HPLV and LPHV were found to be equally effective at washing out bacteria from the inoculated wounds at all times studied.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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