• The need for sterile dressings over clean surgical wounds has been questioned in the past. In the present series of over 200 clean wounds after abdominal or thoracic surgery, half were kept covered with dressings up to the eighth day. The others were uncovered early, some within 6 hours and all within 48 hours.
In the two groups, the type and frequency of complications were almost identical. The four cases in which abscesses developed were explained by predisposing conditions rather than by surface contamination, and the only instances of dehiscence occurred in the group with dressings. The wounds without dressings appeared to heal faster and with less inflammation; there was no irritation by adhesive tape, and the saving of time and materials was evident.
Palumbo LT, Monnig PJ, Wilkinson DE. HEALING OF CLEAN SURGICAL WOUNDS OF THORAX AND ABDOMEN WITH OR WITHOUT DRESSINGS. JAMA. 1956;160(7):553–555. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02960420033009
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