Tap water that is safe to drink is unlikely to be harmful if used to cleanse acute wounds in adults or children
Citation: Fernandez R, Griffiths R. Water for wound cleansing. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012; (2): CD003861
What is this? The response to COVID-19 has led to shortages of antispetics and other over-the-counter products that might be used to clean minor wounds. For many people, tap water is an easily accessible and efficient way that might be used to clean minor wounds.
In this Cochrane systematic review, the authors searched for randomized and quasi-randomized trials that compared the use of tap water with other solutions (e.g. saline) for wound cleansing. They did not restrict by date or language of publication and did their search in November 2011. They identified 11 eligible studies.
What works: Tap water that is safe to drink (potable) is unlikely to be harmful if used to cleanse acute wounds in adults or children.
In the absence of potable tap water, boiled and cooled water as well as distilled water can be used as wound cleansing agents.
What doesn’t work: Nothing noted.
What’s uncertain: Nothing noted.
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