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Chapter 34: Performing a Sterile Wound Irrigation

Check (9) Yes or No


1. Administers pain medication 30 minutes prior to
procedure, if necessary.
2. Warms irrigation solution.
3. Places the patient in a comfortable position that
provides easy access to the wound and will allow the
irrigation solution to flow freely from the wound, with
the assistance of gravity.
4. Positions a water-resistant disposable drape to
protect the bedding from any possible runoff.
5. After washing and drying hands, applies a gown,
face shield, and clean gloves.
6. Removes the soiled dressing. Disposes of gloves
and soiled dressing in a biohazard bag.
7. Sets up a sterile field on a clean dry surface.
8. Adds the following supplies to the field:
Sterile gauze
Sterile bowl
Dressing supplies
Variation A: A 19 gauge Angiocath, 35 cc
syringe, and sterile emesis basin, or
Variation B: A sterile commercial irrigation kit
9. Pours the warmed irrigation solution into the sterile
10. Dons sterile gloves.
11. Irrigates the wound.
a. Places the sterile emesis basin at the bottom of
the wound to collect irrigation runoff.
b. Variation A: Attaches the 19 gauge Angiocath
to the 35 mL syringe and fills with the irrigation
solution, or
Variation B: Fills a piston-tip or bulb syringe
with irrigation solution.
c. Holding the Angiocath tip or syringe tip 2 cm
from the wound bed, gently irrigates the wound
with a back and forth motion, moving from the
superior aspect to the inferior aspect.
d. Repeats the irrigation until the solution returns
12. Removes the basin or sterile container from the
base of the wound; pats the skin around the wound dry

Copyright © 2007, F. A. Davis Company, Wilkinson & Van Leuven/Procedure Checklists for Fundamentals of Nursing
with sterile gauze, beginning at the top of the wound
and working downward.
13. Dresses the wound as ordered.
14. Disposes of contaminated irrigation fluid in an
appropriate manner (biohazardous waste).
15. Removes soiled drapes from the patient area.
16. Removes gloves, face shield, and gown; disposes of
appropriately (they are biohazardous).
17. Washes hands.
18. Repositions patient to a comfortable position.

Recommendation: Pass ______ Needs more practice ______

Student: Date:

Instructor: Date:

Copyright © 2007, F. A. Davis Company, Wilkinson & Van Leuven/Procedure Checklists for Fundamentals of Nursing