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.

 

Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone.

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