Unlocking innovation in wound management is no easy feat. In this article, we explore the precise and targeted approach of probe and shield irrigation. By harnessing the power of optimized pressure and innovative precision, this method of wound cleansing effectively removes debris and minimizes the risk of infection, creating an optimal environment for regenerative healing.
Wound cleansing is a vital proponent in wound bed preparation and chronic wound prevention⁷. Irrigation is a preferred method of wound cleansing, as it can clear the wound of debris and microbes, while avoiding trauma in the wound bed⁷. There are a number of delivery methods for the irrigation process, including traditional delivery methods, such as bulb syringe irrigation. However, with continuous innovation in the wound care field, new tools offer wound care experts increased efficacy in wound management and patient care.
What is Mechanical Irrigation?
Wound irrigation is a cleansing process involving the constant flow of a solution across an open wound surface in order to achieve wound hydration, remove foreign debris, and aid in the physician’s visual inspection of the wound¹. Wound irrigation is indicated in the management of both acute and chronic wounds, and especially those that will be undergoing suturing, surgical repair, or debridement⁵. In comparison to other alternative wound care cleansing practices, such as swabbing or bathing, wound irrigation is considered to be the most consistent and effective method¹.
8 Key Benefits of Irrigating a Wound¹⁻⁷
- Reduce bacterial load present on the wound bed
- Reduction of biofilms linked to chronic wound development
- Minimises risk of infection
- Removes foreign debris
- Allows for optimal wound hydration
- Provides ideal environment for visual inspection of wound
- Removes cellular debris and/or exudate
- Creates optimal healing environment
Common Delivery Practices for Mechanical Irrigation
Bulb syringe irrigation is considered the most traditional method of irrigation. The process utilises a manual syringe with a rubber bulb attached to the end. The bulb is squeezed to create suction, which draws the irrigation solution into the syringe. The solution is then released by pressing the plunger and applied to the wound site for cleansing.
The irrigation syringe method is completed using a manual syringe with a long, thin nozzle that can be inserted into the wound. This process uses a lever or button to release the irrigation solution into the wound bed.
Probe and Shield
The probe and shield delivery process uses a thin, pointed tool called a probe and a protective barrier called a shield. The probe is inserted into the wound to reach deep tissue and remove debris, while the shield helps to prevent contamination of the wound during irrigation. Probe and shield irrigation has been shown to achieve optimal pressure to more effectively remove debris and contaminants in the wound bed in comparison to popular methods such as bulb syringe².
A Clear Winner: 5 Advantages of the Probe & Shield
1. Optimized Pressure
When choosing a delivery method for wound irrigation is it vital to choose a tool that can deliver a consistent stream of solution across the wound bed, this allows for optimal clearing of debris present in the wound and decontamination.The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) recommends a pressure of 4-15 pound per square inch (PSI) for wound irrigation⁶. This PSI range can be optimally achieved using a probe and shield delivery method.
2. Precision & Protection
The probe is a thin, pointed tool that can be inserted into the wound to reach deep tissue and remove debris, providing a more precise and targeted irrigation. While the probe offers physicians optimal control and precision to debride a tunnelling wound, the shield attachment offers a protective barrier that helps to not only prevent contamination of the wound site during irrigation, but protects the health care professional from splashback while administering the solution. Both of these benefits help to reduce common risk factors for both patients and clinicians.
While bulb syringe irrigation has persisted as a popular means of wound irrigation, current literature suggests pulsed lavage irrigation is more effective in decontamination of wounds².Probe and shield attachments are often more efficient than bulb syringes, as they can deliver irrigation solution to the wound site at a higher pressure (PSI) and with greater control, which helps to remove more debris and bacteria in a shorter amount of time.
4. Pain Reduction & Patient Comfort
Since the probe and shield method allows for more targeted irrigation, this delivery method reduces the chance of practitioners causing further injury to healthy tissues near the wound site. This means the procedure is more comfortable for patients.
Using a probe and shield method may be more cost-effective in the long run, as it can reduce the need for additional treatments or procedures. It also reduces the amount of solution required to decontaminate the wound bed site. A 2006 study showed that pulsed lavage irrigation with 3 L of saline solution resulted in a reduction of approximately the same amount of bacteria as did irrigation with 9 L with use of a bulb syringe². This means that pulsed lavage irrigation allows for more effective decontamination of wounds in less time with respectively less cleansing solution.
A Superior Overall Technique
Microorganisms and other contaminants pose serious consequences for effective wound management⁷. Wound cleansing and effective wound irrigation allow physicians to decontaminate the wound bed, which is an effective and vital step towards preventing chronic wounds⁷. There are a number of different methods wound care experts can use to effectively irrigate wounds, however, probe and shield tools offer physicians a mechanical irrigation method with an optimal PSI pressure range and a number of other benefits.
Choose BIHOCL for Innovative Irrigation Solutions
When considering your next wound irrigation product, make sure you're equipped with the BIHOCL probe and shield irrigation attachments.
Our shield attachment provides superior backsplash prevention which reduces cross-contamination risks, while our probe provides easy debridement and cleansing access into deep tunnelling wounds to remove debris and necrotic tissue.
Both devices deliver a high-volume patent-pending fan spray pattern, achieving solution delivery at 3X the wound coverage vs. existing solutions.
Patients deserve the best solution available to them, so ensuring the BIHOCL shield and probe are part of the tools available to you has now become paramount. Shop our line of products today, or contact us for more information!
- Ennis WJ, Valdes W, Salzman S, Fishman D, Meneses P. Trauma and wound care. 2004. 291-307.
- Svoboda, M. S. J., Bice, T. G., Gooden, H. A., Brooks, D. E., Thomas, D. B., & Wenke, J. C. (2006). Comparison of bulb syringe and pulsed lavage irrigation with use of a bioluminescent musculoskeletal wound model. JBJS, 88(10), 2167-2174.
- Gabriel, A. (2015). Wound irrigation: overview, preparation, technique.
- Hiebert, J. M., & Robson, M. C. (2016). The immediate and delayed post-debridement effects on tissue bacterial wound counts of hypochlorous acid versus saline irrigation in chronic wounds. Eplasty, 16.
- Lewis, K., & Pay, J. L. (2022). Wound Irrigation. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.
- Luedtke-Hoffmann, K. A., & Schafer, D. S. (2000). Pulsed lavage in wound cleansing. Physical Therapy, 80(3), 292-300.
- Wolcott, R., & Fletcher, J. (2008). The role of wound cleansing in the management of wounds. inflammation, 17(8), 333-41.