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Irrigating/cleaning linear wounds?

Nurses   (137 Views 2 Comments)
by Jarrett Zellers Jarrett Zellers (New Member) New Member

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How would you go about irrigating/cleaning a deep linear wound with a very small/narrow opening? Don't want wound to retain all the saline and leave it prone to infection. Wound in reference is from an abdominal cyst and requires packing. Also, should packing strip always be moistened before inserting? Thanks!

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Iheartwoundcare has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in CWCN.

27 Posts; 418 Profile Views

Hey Jarrett! For a linear wound  I use either Vashe wound cleanser or NS to clean. I put whatever I am using in an irrigation tray, moisten a clean 4″×4″ gauze pad in what I’m using and squeeze out excess.  Gently wipe the wound from top to bottom in one motion, starting directly over the wound. Repeat cleaning with a clean piece of gauze, using a downward stroke parallel to the incision every time. Think of it as going from the cleanest area to the dirtiest area each time. You never want to pull out normal skin flora into a wound. 😊

As far as packing, what orders did the surgeon give? If it is a narrow opening but deep, you can use NS moist or dry gauze packing strip. It really depends if the wound is draining a lot or if it is too dry and needs moisture added to it. Just be sure to only use one piece and leave a tail out to ensure that nothing gets inadvertently left inside the wound.  
Hope this helps!

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