A web-based survey to identify current practice in skeletal pin site management

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Infections associated with percutaneous pins and wires are common complications which can have a significant impact on patient outcomes. A survey was undertaken to identify current practice and gain insight into variations of clinical practice. Invitations were sent by email to complete an electronic questionnaire using SurveyMonkey. The survey was left open for 100 days. The single largest group of respondents (37.4%, n = 120) cleansed pin sites daily, with significant differences identified between medical and nursing professions (P = 0.02), and country of practice (P < 0.001). Significant differences were also identified in the use of different cleansing solutions between medical and nursing professions (P < 0.001) and country (P < 0.001). The majority group preferences were saline 30% (n = 96) and alcoholic chlorhexidine 29.6% (n = 95). Pin site crusts were routinely removed by 57.9% (n = 186). Pin sites were left exposed by 50.3% (n = 160). Dry gauze was identified as the most common dressing used to dress pin sites, however, substantial variation was identified in the types of dressings used. Compression was not routinely applied to pin sites by 51.6% (n = 165). There remains considerable diversity of practice when caring for pin sites. Further research is required to identify the most effective methods in preventing pin site infection.

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