Optimal Irrigant in High Pressure Paint Injection Injuries of the Hand

Corey M. Bascone, Benjamin Sheber, Dattesh Dave, Joseph M. Firriolo, Clifford Pereira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: High pressure injection injury to the hand with paint leads to amputation rates near 48%. Historically, authors utilized saline irrigation alone, but have high reoperation rates. We conducted a cadaveric study to determine the ideal detergent for effective paint removal from the soft tissue. Methods: Two cadaveric hands were amputated from the same cadaver. The left and right hand digits were injected with flat white latex-based paint and flat white oil-based paint, respectively. Each digit received a longitudinal incision and was scrubbed for 120 seconds with 50 mL of a randomly assigned detergent and no detergent (saline) as the control. After achieving a lather, each finger was cleansed with 50 mL saline before being evaluated by two blinded hand surgery faculty. Reviewers assessed the washouts as adequate or inadequate, in order to generate a Kappa statistic and measure inter-rater reliability prior to ranking each digit (1 through 5) (ie, 1 = most paint-free soft tissue). Results: The two hand faculty had an inter-rater reliability of 0.70. Both reviewers ranked povidone-iodine 10% or Johnson & Johnson shampoo as the best irrigant for latex-based paint. In oil-based paint, povidone-iodine 10%, Johnson & Johnson, & Techni-care were ranked as top three. All reviewers reported detergents were better than saline alone. Conclusions: The addition of detergent created an irrigant that removed both latex- and oil-based paint better than normal saline alone. Based on these results, surgeons treating high-pressure injection injury should consider using Povidone-Iodine 10% or Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo for latex- or oil-based paint.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E4064
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 24 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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