Wound Irrigation


Ok, kinda weird/probably very paranoid question...

Tonight while irrigating a wound with hibiclens prior to the patient getting stitches, I breathed out and a small about of drainage came out of my nose, just like sometimes when speaking and a little spit comes out. I have no idea where it landed, thought maybe it could've landed in the container with the hibiclens, not sure, but I kept using it to finish irrigating the wound. Now that I'm thinking it over I probably should've dumped out the solution and started over just in case. I'm a little worried due to thinking "if" I was a carrier for MRSA, could I have exposed the patient to infection? What are your thoughts on what I should do? Thank you in advance!


2 Posts

Chlorahexadine gluconate, the active ingredient in hibiclens, has been shown to kill MRSA. Hibiclens also stays on the skin after washing further diminishing the chances of MRSA colonization. Though transmission is possible, I've read the risk of colonization is low especially if you had no active MRSA infection. Risk of colonization is higher if there is an active infection like a wound or boil.

jadelpn, LPN, EMT-B

51 Articles; 4,800 Posts

UGH, allergy season!!

If you are feeling like your nose is a bit more runny--and when I am over a wound, never fails....wear a light mask while cleaning the wound. That way the secretions are well seperated and don't co-mingle.

Happend to a co-worker who had an ultra sensitive patient say "OMGGGG you just SPIT on ME!!!!" when a similar thing occured.


23 Posts

What did your co-worker do? I work at a clinic and feel like maybe the patient needs to come back in?? What are your thoughts?

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 20,908 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 43 years experience.

I would speak to your place of employment but you, and the patient, are probably fine.


2 Posts

The patient doesn't need to come back in and he/she will be fine. The chances of the patient being colonized are already really really low. First, you were using hibiclens and second, colonization is usually hard with just a possible snot drop. Even if it did land on the wound, it would have to compete with the body's natural flora among other things.

Let's say it does get colonized with MRSA; it still doesn't mean the wound will eventually get infected. Whether a wound gets infected is based on factors like nutrition/hydration, immune status, location and size of the wound. As long as they do the proper wound care and keep the wound clean, dry, and intact, the wound will heal with no problems.