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Iodine Povidone lighter alternative?
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christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
Iodine Povidone lighter alternative? on 04/20/2012 12:52:34 MDT Print View

Hey guys,
I currently carry a packet of iodine Povidone solution in case I need to irrigate a deep wound.
Does anyone know if they make a dehydrated version of this stuff? Or some other dry alternative?

Jonathan Rozes

Locale: Pacific Wonderland
Prep pads on 04/20/2012 13:25:55 MDT Print View

I just carry a couple of the saturated prep pads in my kit. They're a bit over a gram each. If I were to need more fluid than that for cleaning an extremely dirty wound, I also have a small bottle of saline for my contact lenses available.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Iodine Povidone lighter alternative? on 04/20/2012 13:54:33 MDT Print View

Current medical thinking is not to use any antiseptics in a wound. They damage the tissue and retard healing. Purified water (and lots of it, under pressure) in the wound; use antiseptics only on the unbroken skin around the wound or to prep for blister lancing/splinter removal. This per my recent Wilderness First Aid class and my-son-in-law-the-ER-physician (also a backpacker), on whom I rely for the latest updates.

Jack Elliott
(JackElliott) - F

Locale: Bend, Oregon, USA
Swapping Povidone for Irrigation Syringe on 04/20/2012 14:26:33 MDT Print View

Hey Mary, thanks for posting that. It makes sense to just irrigate the owie. I suspect our bodies know pretty good how to deal with clean water and normal dirt, and not so much what to do with freaky industrial chemicals.

I have a Povidone swab in my First Aid kit, and will cheerfully swap it out in favor of a suitable syringe. I won't pack a bag of saline, but I bet that boiled water with a bit of table salt added would suffice. I'm sure I can find a handy recipe on the webbernets.

Anyone know a suitable syringe a fellow can easily locate? I have no contacts in the medical profession other than my M.D.

[Edit: Looks like the salt is unnecessary, and unsalted city tap water is plenty clean enough:
Cleaning Wounds With Drinkable Tap Water
A multicenter comparison of tap water versus sterile saline for wound irrigation.

For those who wish to make the water saline, 1 level teaspoon (5 mL) of non-iodized salt per 2 cups (500mL) water seems to be the recipe: How to Make a Sterile Irrigation Solution ]

Edited by JackElliott on 04/21/2012 08:43:42 MDT.

christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
Rei would closure kit on 04/21/2012 02:06:17 MDT Print View

I got my syringe from a wound closure kit i bought at rei (which also has iodine povidone, tincture of benzoine, etc)

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Sources for Irrigation Syringes on 04/21/2012 08:47:39 MDT Print View

Check with your dentist or your veterinarian.

Walgreens has a 10ml oral syringe that can probably serve the purpose for $2.49.

Walgreen's Oral Syringe

Walmart has the oral syringes without the other extras.

eBay, two for $3.70 with free shipping!

Party On,


Edited by Newton on 04/21/2012 08:49:11 MDT.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Iodine Povidone lighter alternative? on 04/21/2012 08:53:08 MDT Print View

I am NOT a doctor, but Mary's son in law is correct regarding irrigation of deep wpounds.

A very experienced military trauma surgeon wrote this on the PCT_List forum in 2011 in response to a hiker's question regarding the wisdom of using stitches (by a non-medical person) for wound closure in the field, and subsequent wound care. Note that I'm quoting only selected parts of his lengthy and valuable post.

"-Bleeding must be completely stopped. Otherwise, a pool of blood will accumulate under the skin which is a perfect "petri dish" for an infection. A slow "ooze" can really mess this up."

"-The wound must be lavishly flushed with fluid. This would be measured in gallons, not quarts. You would want some pressure behind it. In the ER, we use a pressure device, in the field, holding a container several feet above the wound would work. The tiniest bit of foreign matter left in a wound increases the rate of infection 1000-fold."

"So, what do do? We teach never to close (by stitching or gluing(I'm not a glue fan, BTW)) a wound in the field. I never would. Leave the wound open, but covered. Clean it with plain soap and water (alcohol, bad, iodine, bad) multiple times a day. Slap some neosporin on it, cover. They will ALMOST NEVER become infected. They will heal beautifully. You can do a whole lot wrong with this technique, and things will still turn out perfectly ok."

"If one cannot manage with the open wound, then you have to leave the trail, and have the wound taken care of."

"Concepts in first aid management of wounds has evolved a lot in the last few decades, based upon increasingly good information and research. It is probably a good idea for anyone embarking on the PCT to avail themselves of a current WFA or better course, but even taking one of the free online first aid courses would be better than nothing."

I've had more than one doctor tell me that a good irrigation syringe (20 ml capacity or larger) is a vital part of any field 1st aid kit. I've carried one for years and have had to use it once. They weigh very little but do take up space and can not be compressed. Google "irrigation syringe" for places to order if your drug store doesn't have - or can't order - one for you.

One recommendation that made good sense was to add Aqua Mira to several liters of clean water (as if you were trying to make it drinkable) ,then immediately begin using that water for irrigation. The AM will act as a mild disinfectant rather than kill tissue. The water does not have to already have been treated earlier, but must be free of debris and dirt. You want to remove debris, not add it.

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
_ on 04/21/2012 10:49:43 MDT Print View

Great post by Bob; concur completely. Jives with all my medical training and the advice I've gotten from current ER docs who do the wilderness thing.

"The solution to pollution is dilution".

Something to know is that some people are allergic to neomycin, one of the antibiotics in Neosporin and most other triple antibiotic ointments. Bacitracin is just as effective and has a lower risk of causing allergic reactions. Things usually work fine with Neosporin but why take the risk of an issue?

These ointments are 99% petrolatum (Vaseline), which when worked into cotton makes a great fire tinder. They are good backups for when you lose your lip balm too.

Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
Syringe on 04/21/2012 16:02:18 MDT Print View

Target will hand out free syringes if you ask for them at the Pharmacy. Was looking for small clear pill cups and they gave me that instead. FYI.