Medicolegal Issues

Do Not Swab Any Superficial Dermatologic Wound Without Sterilizing the Surface


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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