Pulse Lavage: Cleansing of a wound is a vital component of management of wounds needed to facilitate the healing process of the wound. There are many methods available for the cleansing of a wound. Research has examined the properties of pulse lavage in cleansing of wounds and compared this method with methods that are more traditional.
Pulse lavage is defined as delivering of a solution for irrigating under pressure – pressure can be produced by some device powered by electricity. Irrigation that uses pressure may be delivered simultaneously with suction, removing the irrigating solution from the area. In wound cleansing, this method removes infectious agents as well as any debris from a wound’s surface.
In the 1960’s apprehensions had been high concerning potential hazards that were related with using “high-pressure” pulse lavage in wound cleansing. Some researchers had examined the possible risks including the development of bacteremia following lavage of wounds that were contaminated, wound traumatization as well as distribution of certain matter or bacteria thru the wound to the surrounding tissues. These studies began with using oral irrigation devices such as Water-Piks. The analysis of samples of blood provided no indication that those in the control group developed infections after exposure to high-pressure oral irrigation.
The results suggested that the amount of pressure that is used in irrigation is the main variable to achieving effective cleansing of the wound. Pressures of 1 psi or less were found to be of little value for wound cleansing. Debris on the surface, such as wound exudate and loose necrotic tissue was shown to be most effectively cleaned with pressures between five and 10 psi.