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Tap water for wound irrigation

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Irrigation, a critical component of wound management, is commonly performed with sterile normal saline solution.


The purpose of this study was to compare the infection rates of wounds irrigated with normal saline solution versus those of wounds irrigated with running tap water. There were no clinically important differences in infection rates between wounds irrigated with tap water or normal saline solution. Tap water might be an effective alternative to normal saline solution for wound irrigation in children. Note: This study was done in the U.S. and may not reflect water standards in developing countries. [1]


  1. Valente JH, Forti RJ, Freundlich LF, Zandieh SO, Crain EF Wound irrigation in children: saline solution or tap water? Ann Emerg Med. 2003 May;41(5):609-16