Preparing the Wound Bed

Before a wound is dressed, it must be cleansed gently so as to not injure any new epithelial cells.

"The practitioner must always attempt to minimize wound trauma during wound cleansing."

  • For cleansing a wound, normal saline is the cleanser of choice because it is isotonic and has no toxic effects on granulating growth cells. Sterile water or non-cytotoxic wound cleanser may be used for wound cleansing.
  • Fluid used for cleansing should be warmed to at least room temperature.

  • Betadine and Chlorohexadine should not be used as they are non-selective and cytotoxic.

  • Irrigation with normal saline (or sterile water/non-cytotoxic wound cleanser) can be used in a wound to help loosen and remove debris. It is best accomplished with a force of 4-15 psi (ref. 60) which can be accomplished with one of the following:

    100CC NS bottle with irrigation tip
    60cc catherter tip syringe
    100cc NS bottle with irrigation tip
    35 ml syringe with a 19 gauge angiocath

  • Wound cleansers have surfactants that assist in removing surface slough and debris and are appropriate for wounds with a high amount of slough in the wound bed. See the following for example:

    Restore Wound Cleanser™
    by Hollister
    Spray on the wound
    Gently wipe away ensuring that the skin around the wound is dry

LHSCHealth Professionals

Please Note

The content and images on the Wound Care Site are intended for Health Professionals and may be disturbing to some.
Last Updated July 20, 2009 | © 2007, LHSC, London Ontario Canada