Tap water versus sterile normal saline in wound cleansing : a randomized controlled pilot study in community setting

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Tap water versus sterile normal saline in wound cleansing : a randomized controlled pilot study in community setting

 

Author: Chan, Mun-che
Title: Tap water versus sterile normal saline in wound cleansing : a randomized controlled pilot study in community setting
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2011
Subject: Wound healing.
Wounds and injuries -- Treatment.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Faculty of Health and Social Sciences
Pages: 65 leaves : col. ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2474786
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/6425
Abstract: Background: A variety of solutions have been used to cleanse wounds, prevent infection, promote healing, reduce discomfort and reduce the cost of care. However, the evidence to support the selection of cleansing solution is still inconclusive. In the recent decades, the use of tap water as a cleansing agent has been reported, and it is becoming more common in clinical practice, especially in community settings as tap water is easily accessible, inexpensive and can be used in large volume. Objective: The purpose of the pilot study is to test if there are differences in proportions of wound infection and wound healing when wounds are cleansed with either tap water or sterile normal saline in the community settings. Method: This was a double-blinded randomized controlled trial. Subjects of the study were recruited from a community nursing service from a local hospital in Hong Kong. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of the two groups by computer-generated random numbers: the tap water group (experimental group) and sterile normal saline group (control group). Wound infection and healing were assessed according to the frequencies of wound cleansing. Wound assessment was conducted in each home visit based on the hospital protocol. However, assessment of wound size would be conducted only once a week. Results: 22 subjects with 30 wounds were included in the study. Of them, 11 patients with 16 wounds were assigned at random to the tap water group (experimental group) and 11 patients with 14 wounds were assigned to the sterile normal saline group (control group). Results of the pilot study showed that there was no significant difference between experimental and control groups in proportions of wound infection (p=0.49, Fisher's exact test) and wound healing (p=1, Fisher's exact test). Conclusion: Findings of the pilot study indicated that potable tap water can serve as a safe alternative to sterile normal saline for wound cleansing in the community settings.

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