Trick of the Trade: Irrigation fluid is key – but not in your eye!
High pressure irrigation of wounds is critical in reducing the rate of wound infection. There are a variety of commercial irrigation kits which include splash guards. If you are irrigating correctly and generating at least 8 PSI of pressure, some irrigation fluid should splash up and out of the wound. Be careful not to splash irrigation fluid in your eyes.
What if you don’t have a commercial irrigation setup?
Trick of the Trade
Irrigate wound using an 18-gauge needle with a clear plastic cup as a shield
An alternative approach
It makes me a little nervous to irrigate a wound with a needle (because of the unpredictable movements of patients). Also, we don’t have clear plastic cups in our ED. So, I rigged a similar setup using an 18-gauge angiocatheter and urine cup.
Slide the 18-gauge angiocatheter into the hole and irrigate away!
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