Matt, a question for you: Have you had any experiences with pulse lavage therapy as a treatment for wounds? In particular, stage III and IV wounds. If so, what are your thoughts on the therapy?
K, I have a lot of experience with pulse lavage in deep full thickness wounds (mostly in the early 2000s). I believe that pulse lavage has lost favor related to the high risk for spreading microorganisms via water droplets that inevitably spray back out of the wound. Two other developments have lead to the reduction in pulse lavage use including VAC instill (NPWT) and Celleration Mist therapies. That being said pulse lavage does have a place in the care of patient’s if the wound is grossly contaminated (say status post traumatic injury to flush debris).
I would review the goals that you expect to achieve when treating the patient with pulse lavage. Typically, pulse lavage helps to reduce slough and clean a contaminated wound bed. Depending on your goals I think there are better solutions. To reduce or loosen slough in high draining wounds I recommend DrawTex (SteadMed). If you fear contamination (and in a hospital setting) I would recommend VAC instill with Microcyn as the irrigant. If the patient is at an ECF, Home Care, or being seen at a wound clinic I would consider going with our classic antimicrobial silver (We use a ton of Silvadene) , but opt for an silver alginate if the patient can’t get the dressing changed daily.
Thanks again for the question,