Clean vs. Sterile Dressing Techniques for Management of Chronic Wounds: A Fact Sheet
This document originated in 2001 as a joint position statement from a collaborative effort of the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society and the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (APIC & WOCN, 2001; Wooten, Hawkins, & APIC Committee, 2001). Its purpose was to review the evidence about clean vs. sterile technique and present approaches for chronic wound care management. Then as now, areas of controversy exist due to a lack of agreement on the definitions of "clean" and "sterile" technique, lack of consensus as to when each is indicated in the management of chronic wounds, and lack of research to serve as a guide. Wound care practices are extremely variable and are frequently based on rituals and traditions as opposed to a scientific foundation.