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J Athl Train. 1996 Jan-Mar; 31(1): 12–16.
PMCID: PMC1318349

Wound Care Management: Proper Protocol Differs From Athletic Trainers' Perceptions


As research techniques in wound care management improve, treatment protocols for the care of wounds must also change to ensure safe and optimal healing. In this study, I surveyed current practices of athletic trainers regarding the care of athletic wounds and compared the findings to current literature. I contacted 501 athletic trainers, including all NATA curricular undergraduate directors. Overall response rate was 58%; 78% of the athletic trainers from the curricular schools responded. Wet-to-dry, irrigation, and soaks were the three most common methods used to debride and cleanse a wound. Povidone-iodine (Betadine) and hydrogen peroxide were the two most popular cleansing agents. Conventional gauze was the primary dressing used by 67% of the athletic trainers, while 20% of those surveyed used occlusive dressings. Although povidone-iodine and hydrogen peroxide are commonly used, both are toxic to cells involved in the wound-healing process and delay healing. Research indicates that the best method of cleansing and debriding a wound is to irrigate it with saline. Occlusive dressings have a lower infection rate, are viral barriers, and are associated with faster wound healing and less pain than gauze dressings. Athletic trainers need to assess their wound care protocols so that they give the best possible care to their athletes.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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Articles from Journal of Athletic Training are provided here courtesy of National Athletic Trainers Association