Use tap water for chronic wounds, advises AIIMS doc

New Delhi: Defying popular perception that only sterilised water should be used to clean chronic wounds, doctors at the premier AIIMS here have begun to use tap water
for such wounds in arms and legs.

"People can use normal running tap water and clean their wounds of chronic nature - wounds that take time to heal. It should be used for wounds only in the arms and the
legs. We have tried it on patients who had varicose ulcer in the leg and found that the tap water is as effective in cleaning the wound as sterile water," Dr Sandeep Guleria,
additional professor of the department of surgical disciplines in AIIMS, said.

He said that doctors at AIIMS practise it after they found it effective during treatment of varicose ulcer wounds.

Guleria said this will be among the issues to be deliberated upon by participants at the annual conference of Association of Surgeons of India to be held between December

The symposium of ASCION 2010 will specially focus on "Doctors as Entrepreneur: How to set up and expand a hospital" with focus on quality, patient safety and affordability along with six-day medical technology and hospital exhibition.
"Since this tap water use concept is a cost control measure it will find a mention in the symposium," Guleria said.

"We advise the poor people who come to us for treatment of wounds in the legs and the arms. They cannot afford sterile water as it is expensive but at the same time
they have easy access to running tap water," he said.

Speaking about the symposium, Arvind Kumar, professor of surgery, AIIMS said, "Knowledge to conduct an ultrasound which was limited till now to the diagnostic medical sonographer will be spread to others. Trauma surgeons will be trained about how to carry out a ultrasound as it is effective in treating such patients. It will work like a stethoscope for these surgeons".