Does skin preparation alter suture strength characteristics? Assessing the effect of chlorhexidine and isopropyl alcohol on common skin closure suture material
Evans, Jonathan P.
JournalInternational Wound Journal
Rights© 2020 Medicalhelplines.com Inc (3M) and John Wiley & Sons Ltd
CC0 1.0 Universal
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Sutures are essential to approximate tissues and enable healing by first intention until a wound regains its original tensile strength. The mechanical properties of sutures are well documented, but the effects of exposing sutures to skin preparation solutions used in surgery are not. This study was performed to investigate whether 2% chlorhexidine and 70% isopropyl alcohol skin preparation, commonly used prior to incision and prior to closure, has any effect on the mechanical properties of several commonly used surgical suture types. Four suture types were soaked in either 2% chlorhexidine and 70% isopropyl alcohol or Hartmann's solution for 5 minutes. All sutures were left to dry for 11 days before being tested to failure using an Instron 3367 tensile testing machine. Testing revealed significant differences in failure load, ultimate tensile stress, and Young's modulus between suture types (P < .05). No significant differences in failure load (P = .98), ultimate tensile stress (P = .21), or Young's modulus (P = .22) were observed between the test group and the control group when comparing sutures of the same type. This study demonstrates that chlorhexidine/isopropyl skin preparation solutions do not significantly change the mechanical properties of suture materials exposed to them.
CitationGaukroger AJ et al. Does skin preparation alter suture strength characteristics? Assessing the effect of chlorhexidine and isopropyl alcohol on common skin closure suture material. Int Wound J. 2020 Dec;17(6):1857-1862. doi: 10.1111/iwj.13475. Epub 2020 Aug 27.
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