Okay to use diluted bleach water for wound disinfectant?

Discussion in 'Survival & Emergency Preparedness' started by stef, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. stef

    stef Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This is ONLY if you have nothing else available...but, my question is, can you use chlorine bleach, diluted with water, to cleanse a wound?

    If so...what would the proportion of bleach to water be?

    If this is a bad idea, please tell me. :)



    thanks much...stef
     
  2. The Biss

    The Biss Well-Known Member

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    Food Lion grocery store used to do it all the time with their chickens to keep them fresher, longer. I can't see why it wouldn't work. Honey is a much better solution if possible.
     

  3. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm This Space For Rent Supporter

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    I wouldn't want to do it.

    Plain soap and water will clean well enough until you can get something better
     
  4. motdaugrnds

    motdaugrnds II Corinthians 5:7

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    I would "not" do so because I think it would irritate the wound. I use Hydrogan Peroxide on wounds. It stings; but will get in and under anything to reach infection(s). Otherwise, soap and water (or raw honey & sugar mix) would be good.
     
  5. Pelenaka

    Pelenaka Well-Known Member

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    In some instances I think that it would be a good alternative - a wound that has been contaminated with fecal material for example. As to ratio keep it low. Bleach will destroy tissue.
    I can tell you that I have soaked my feet in bleach water solution to kill a bad case of athletes foot when I wasn't able to get to medical.
    Years ago I believe that one of Lysol's claim to fame was as a medicinal soak. I've had more than one patient tell me that when they were young their mothers would soak a cut or rash in Lysol. Everyone of them all said the same that Lysol worked like a charm.


    ~~ pelenaka ~~
     
  6. ovsfarm

    ovsfarm Well-Known Member Supporter

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    From what little I know, bleach is an oxidizing agent which disinfects by killing the cells. It does not differentiate between "good" healthy tissue cells and "bad" bacterial, infectious cells, so it would be very caustic to the surrounding tissue and unfortunately easy to add additional damage to the original injury by irritating the remaining skin and other tissues. So definitely not my first choice.

    That said, if I cut my foot in dirty flood waters and the only disinfectant I had on hand was bleach, then yes, I would probably mix up a weak solution and douse the area. Better to damage more area but get rid of harmful bacteria than to allow the bacteria to get a solid foothold so it could then damage the surrounding tissue.

    There are plenty of other risks related to bleach such as inhaling the fumes, getting it splashed into one's eyes, causing a major allergic skin reaction, etc. So it certainly isn't without risk. But if I knew that a nasty infection was also a very strong liklihood, I think I would chance it.

    If I had an option, I would go with a good topical antibiotic or soap and clean water. But beggars can't always be choosers, so I would do what I had to.

    Edited to add:
    Check out this website http://doreen.mkbmemorial.com/NF/dakins.pdf

    It discusses Dakin's solution, a home made wound disinfectant made from chlorine bleach, water and baking soda. This site is from the Dept. of Inpatient Nursing at Ohio State University's Medical Center. If I'm reading the chart right, they recommend appx. 1t. of bleach to 1 qt. of water. plus 1/2t. of baking soda.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011
  7. naturelover

    naturelover Well-Known Member

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    I'd flush copiously with a concentrated solution of salt water before I'd use bleach on an open wound. If bleach was all I had then yes, I'd use it as a very last resort at the 1 teaspoon of bleach to 1 qt. of water and then afterwards flush the wound thoroughly with boiled sterile water.

    .
     
  8. fetch33

    fetch33 Well-Known Member

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    We use a bleach solution in the hospital in infected wounds at times. The brand name is Dakins solution and I can't remember the concentration.
     
  9. cider

    cider Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Several years back my DD had a case of MRSA.
    Our doctor told us that one treatment for recurring MRSA was to fill a tub with bleach and water and sit in it, repeatedly. It augmented the medicine and helped to keep the rest of the family from getting infected.
    Happily, DD's case cleared up pronto and we did not have to try out that method.

    http://pediatrics.about.com/od/dermatologytopics/ht/109_bleach_bath.htm
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011
  10. Texasdirtdigger

    Texasdirtdigger Texasdirtdigger Supporter

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    When I was growing up, the only medicinal approach my Dad took for all of us.... was soaking in hot water with bleach. He just poured a slug into a tub and... in we went.
     
  11. Sarabeth

    Sarabeth Learning to love today...

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    My mother swears by dipping a cut into straight bleach and if it's deep gluing it shut with super glue. I was horrified when I heard this, and I have not tried it. She said a friend of hers showed her this when she cut herself with a rotary cutter (a fabric cutting tool that can literally cut off your finger) and she swore it did not hurt a bit. The wound healed incredibly fast.

    Again, I have not tried this, but she is now a believer in this method.
     
  12. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Guest

    As is usual some folks want to answer something other than the question actually asked.

    Yes, you can use a bleach solution to clean a wound. It's not the best thing to do but if you ONLY have bleach and no soap or anything better you can use it.

    Mix it 10:1 with clean water and only do it once.

    Plain old soap and water is best but if bleach is all that you have you can use it.
     
  13. bourbonred

    bourbonred Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When I started nursing in the early 90's we used Dakin's Solution which was bleach mixed with water by the pharmacy. The doctor would specify either 1/8 solution or 1/4 solution. We didn't use it to clean but to pack dirty wounds. Back then bedsores were much more common. To pack a wound means to open up your gauze (like a piece of cheesecloth) and wet it with the solution and poke it down into the dirty wound with a q-tip. This procedure was done to debride or to clean out the dead tissue. We packed it with wet dressing, and removed it when it was dry. We healed a lot of wounds that way, but they have better treatments now that aren't so hard on the healthy tissue. In a SHTF situation, I wouln't hesitate to keep a 1/8 strength solution mixed and ready. As an aside, we also used betadyne the same way to pack wounds.
    As to the superglue, I've heard that free bleeders keep superglue for that purpose. The E.R. also glues wounds shut with a medical super-glue type product made for that purpose.
     
  14. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Guest

  15. stef

    stef Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks, very much. I appreciate this and all the other answers. I knew it wasn't the best, but I'm trying to educate myself.

    stef
     
  16. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've used bleach on poison ivy for years....my little one catches it easy.

    My son had mrsa on his face when he was 8yo....the docs had him toxic on antibiotic, didn't want to treat topically due to scarring issues....after 2 months I took matters into my own hands...diluted bleach and bactriban...no scars...no one else in the family caught it....pretty good when the other kids were younger than him...
     
  17. cider

    cider Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I did not know this. If I had known, I would have given it as my answer.
     
  18. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Guest

    MRSA is not a thing to be trifled with and can call for doing things one might not otherwise do. If that's what your doctor recommended then that was the thing to do if it had gone so far as to be necessary.
     
  19. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The doctors were not affective...with ingested antibiotic...he was with diarrhea and getting dehydrated when I. me. myself. decided to treat with an asked for script...the bactriban and diluted bleach water...

    I can only say that it worked for us, but cannot scientifically prove/recommend.
     
  20. secretcreek

    secretcreek Well-Known Member Supporter

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    As stated: Bleach in dilute form can be used. It is harsh on skin and damaging but so is peroxide. If it was a SHTF situation, and that's what I had to work with, I'd use either one, along with other healing /antibiotic treatments.

    Super glue works well to seal skin wounds...just bought some to put in our first-aid prep kit.
    -scrt crk