Cleansing the traumatic wound by high pressure syringe irrigation

Thomas R Stevenson, John G. Thacker, George T. Rodeheaver, Carlos Bacchetta, Milton T. Edgerton, Richard F. Edlich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of the fluid dynamics of syringe irrigation on the efficacy of wound cleansing and the infection rate of experimental wounds. The pressure experienced by a surface following wound irrigation was directly proportional to the pressure within the syringe and the size of the needle. High pressure syringe irrigation effectively removed bacteria from the surface of the wound. reduction in the wound bacterial count resulted in a decrease in the infection rate of tissues. Low pressure irrigation with an asepto syringe did not significantly cleanse the wound of its bacterial contaminants and did no demonstrable clinical merit. On the basis of these studies, high pressure syringe irrigation is being employed routinely in our emergency department for the care of traumatic wounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-21
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American College of Emergency Physicians
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1976
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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