Prevention of Bacterial Growth Under Commercial Catheter Dressings
After iodine and alcohol disinfection of the skin, three commercially available vapor-permeable polyurethane dressings were compared to a gauze and tape dressing for their effect on cutaneous skin flora. Dressing associated skin sites were clinically evaluated for skin erythema, pruritis, hyperpigmentation, vesiculitis, and tenderness. Op-Site, Tegaderm, Uniflex and gauze dressings were placed on the flexor surface of the forearm. Controls consisted of one exposed skin site and one covered with a moisture-retaining vinylidene film (Saran Wrap). Although after 3 days of adhesion, commercial dressings prevented indigenous flora from returning to normal population densities, no significant quantitative differences were found between them and the gauze dressing. Generally, all clinical dressings maintained normal flora at one-tenth the population of the uncovered site; the Saran Wrap control supported 100-fold more bacteria than the exposed site.
KeywordsSkin Site Normal Flora Exposed Site Skin Erythema Skin Flora
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