Large-sized abscess often have pus trapped in deep crevices and pockets. Irrigation can help express the pus. How can you set up a high-volume irrigation system?
Administer normal saline through a pressure IV bag and irrigate using an 18 gauge angiocatheter.
Thanks to Dr. Julian Villar (EM resident at UCSF-SFGH) for the idea and action photo! Read his insightful comments in the Comments section.
Editorial comments 11/7/12:
- Be aware that irrigation has not actually been shown to be necessary in incision and drainage procedures of abscess.
- Be sure that there is a large exit hole for the high-pressure irrigation or else you will be injecting into a closed system, potentially dissecting through surrounding tissue planes.