Proper debridement and cleansing of open wounds is vitally important with regard to wound care management. It speeds the process of healing, and inhibits infections from starting due to the presence of foreign bodies such as bacteria that may use the wound as a place to enter the person’s body. Studies have been completed on a technique referred to pulse lavage debridement, during which the wound is cleansed with water, unlike conventional techniques that require that the area to remain dry.
There are many reasons a person may develop a wound. For instance, bed sores may afflict those who are immobile or nursing home residents who cannot leave their beds to exercise or participate in other activities. Other types of wounds may be the result of unfortunate incidents such as burns or cuts.
Pulse lavage is a term that describes the irrigation of a wound through a process that involves delivering a water-based solution to the area. This is usually completed under a particular degree of pressure, and an electric device is typically what is used to transport the solution to the area. The irrigation causes simultaneous pressure to be applied to the wound and is followed with suction, which in turn transports the solution away from the area. This cleansing technique eradicates infectious agents and debris from the surface of the wound.
It is also possible to deliver the irrigation and suction simultaneously. With this method, the solution irrigates one area of the wound while suctioning another area. For wounds that are very small in circumference, it may be difficult to implement this technique, however.
This kind of cleaning and debridement technique is known by many different names. The latter include pulsatile, jet, or mechanical lavage, as well as “high pressure irrigation”. All refer to the same procedure. Plain water may be used as the irrigation solution, or other substances may be added according to what the patient’s physician, surgeon, or wound care specialist thinks is best.
This type of cleansing method is used by military healthcare professionals as well. Cleaning and debriding contaminated wounds sustained in combat with high-pressure irrigation was determined to be very effective for patients with such injuries. It was during the 1960s that this type of technique was initially used, when it was first completed on military patients and then performed on civilians. Although its effectiveness and safety are still being researched, it is now a universally accepted technique.
There are various levels of pressure that can be utilized with this cleansing method. Some medical scientists claim that only low pressure irrigation should be performed, while other professionals report that there are no additional risks associated with high-pressure techniques. This decision will largely depend on the kind of wound the individual sustained, as well as the opinion of the doctor or other practitioner from whom the patient is receiving treatment. Research has overwhelmingly pointed to the fact that tissue surrounding the wound is safer from exposure to foreign substances such as bacteria after pressurized irrigation is performed.
Most experts agree that pulse lavage will be performed frequently in the coming years. The techniques used will be further developed as more research is completed. Individuals suffering from wounds should speak to their family physician or surgeon concerning this cleaning and debriding method.
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