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Thread: Normal Saline vs Disinfectants

  1. #1

    Normal Saline vs Disinfectants

    My mum likes cleaning wounds on my body using normal saline. In hospital, the nurses also used to do so.
    How to compare normal saline with disinfectants (alcohol etc) in dealing with wounds?
    Is normal saline better than better those disinfectants?
    Can normal saline kill germs?
    When the drs did catheterization on me, they used un-known cold solution (alcohol?) to clean my genital. I don't know why they did not use NS but they gave me NS for doing catheterization at home.

  2. #2
    NS does not disinfect, but is a good wound cleaner because it is physiologic (similar in pH and salinity to blood). It cleans mucous off well, as well as biofilm, as long as a little friction is also used. Most importantly, it does not kill or inhibit fibroblasts (the cells which are making new tissues in wound healing).

    Alcohol, Betadine, iodine, hydrogen peroxide, Dakins solution, and many other traditional antiseptic solutions will kill or inhibit these cells, so their use is no longer recommended for most wounds. Antiseptics may be used to clean and reduce bacterial load on the skin on the urinary meatus prior to surgery or catheterization. Betadine is common (brownish red), while clear solutions may be chlorhexidine or benzalkonium chloride.

    Disinfectants are solutions used to kill bacteria or other germs on inanimate objects (catheters, tables, side rails, toilets, etc.). Antiseptics are used on living tissue. A good way to remember this is A = alive = antiseptics, while D = dead = disinfectant.

    (KLD)
    Last edited by SCI-Nurse; 10-08-2012 at 04:15 AM.

  3. #3
    Does chlorhexidine kill or inhibit fibroblasts?
    If NS does not disinfect, does it means that, after cleaning wounds using it, there are still germs on wounds?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Bitpo View Post
    Does chlorhexidine kill or inhibit fibroblasts?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bitpo View Post
    If NS does not disinfect, does it means that, after cleaning wounds using it, there are still germs on wounds?
    Yes. Pretty much all open wounds have bacteria on their surface, although cleaning off the wound with NS and a little light friction will significantly reduce their numbers, as many live in the biofilm that this will remove.

    (KLD)

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