Gentian Violet 1% Solution in the Treatment of Wounds in the Geriatric Patient: A Retrospective Study

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To review the use of gentian violet !% (GV) in a long-term care facility for the treatment of small, open wounds and extremity eschars of all sizes and thickness.The records of all the patients receiving topical GV therapy over a period of 1 year, from May 19, 2007 – May 19, 2008 were reviewed. The total sample was 70 patients (38 male, 32 female), average age 65.9 y.o., with 111 wounds (41 patients had >1 wound). The types of wounds were divided into 3 categories: 1) Split-thickness scabs (N = 37) limited to the epithelium, 2) full-thickness eschars and wounds with no depth <1 cm (N = 50), and 3) full-thickness eschars >1 cm located on the lower extremity (average 3.3 cm in diameter [N = 24]). All the wounds had been treated the same: topical application of GV to the wounds daily.None of the patients had any documented adverse events to the GV. Out of the 111 wounds, 103 healed completely. All wounds remained negative for cellulitis.1) GV is a viable alternative topical agent for healing small, superficial wounds, ineffective scabs, and both small and large pressure ulcer eschars on lower extremities of geriatric patients, 2) there was very little evidence of scarring with the use of GV.

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