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Has anyone ever seen this done before?

Nurses   (3,644 Views 18 Comments)
by NCRN2010 NCRN2010, BSN, RN (Member) Member

NCRN2010 has 19 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Case Management.

2,190 Profile Views; 26 Posts

So last week I was assisting one of the providers at my employment and witnessed something I have never seen before. The patient we were caring for had a large leg wound. The provider wanted to culture the wound. So I prepared the patient and the room. The provider comes in and takes the swab of the culture and runs in under water from the faucet. She stated "I always get a better sample if the swab is wet first".:confused: Is this an accepted practice? Seems to me the culture swab would be contaminated from the tap water, and therefore the culture would not only be from the wound, but whatever else was lurking in the spigot, :sofahider and the city water.:barf02:Has anyone else witnessed this?

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FLArn has 20 years experience and specializes in Hospice, LTC, Rehab, Home Health.

503 Posts; 10,691 Profile Views

No, never and you are 100% correct that culture is worthless! One can only wonder how many people were given antibiotics that were not appropriate for the infections they really had or that they never had at all!:uhoh3::banghead:

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merlee has 36 years experience.

1,246 Posts; 13,410 Profile Views

NO NO NO NO Swabs are supposed to be sterile. And who knows what is being introduced INTO the wound???

OY VEY !!!!

Edited by merlee
spacing

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AgentBeast has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Cardiology and ER Nursing.

1,971 Posts; 21,625 Profile Views

Apparently somebody was trying to kill this patient.

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casi has 3 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC.

2,063 Posts; 17,190 Profile Views

It may work better when wet, but umm maybe try sterile saline instead.

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nursetiffany. specializes in LTC.

45 Posts; 2,626 Profile Views

whoa. what?!

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ExpatHopeful has 4 years experience as a LPN, LVN and specializes in Gastroenterology.

158 Posts; 4,481 Profile Views

I second Casi. I have seen swabs dampened with sterile saline before collection, for instance when the area being swabbed was quite dry (like an armpit or nose for MRSA), but it was sterile!You should inform the lab or your nurse manager about this so they can do some reeducation.

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NurseKatie08 has 11 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Geriatrics, Transplant, Education.

742 Posts; 12,788 Profile Views

Gross! Who knows what junk they were introducing into the wound!

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diva rn has 18 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in PICU, ICU, Hospice, Mgmt, DON.

963 Posts; 11,780 Profile Views

ABSOLUTELY NOT....broke sterility. I agree with everyone else. I wonder what the Lab would say about that if they knew? or the Infectious Disease specialist (assuming that isn't who did this)....!!!!

What poor practice!

Was this guy out of the dark ages?:eek:

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suanna has 30 years experience and specializes in Post Anesthesia.

1,549 Posts; 15,394 Profile Views

Are we assuming this patient dosen't take a bath/shower with the same water that was used to dampen the swab? Any bug in the water supply would be present on his skin and presumably in the wound. Pathogens that are capable of infecting a wound shouldn't be present in tap water. Any bug that cultures out would most likely be identified as normal flora- present on anyones skin(or perhaps in tap water), or pathogenic/infectious. I would expect the swab would be better off moistened with sterile water or saline, but I am more concerned that the chlorine in treated (city) tap water would inhibit the growth of any pathogens present in the wound.

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