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Do Not Swab Any Superficial Dermatologic Wound Without Sterilizing the Surface

From: The Hospitalist, May 2012

Letter in response to "10 Things Hospitalists Should Know about Infectious Disease."

by Clifford A. Kaye, MD

I would broaden the comment in the April 2012 article “10 Things Hospitalists Should Know about Infectious Diseases” regarding culturing decubitus ulcers to: “Do not swab any superficial dermatologic wound without sterilizing the surface and then subsequently expressing a sample from the underlying tissue.” I tell my trainees that, unless they sterilize, they might as well culture their ties and send that instead.

Clifford A. Kaye, MD, assistant professor,
Wayne State University SOM,
associate medical director of quality and hospital utilization,
Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit


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The Hospitalist newsmagazine reports on issues and trends in hospital medicine. The Hospitalist reaches more than 25,000 hospitalists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, residents, and medical administrators interested in the practice and business of hospital medicine.

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ISSN: 1553-085X