The Continued Utility and Viability of Dakin’s Solution in Both High- and Low-resource Settings



1 Yale School of Medicine, Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

2 Harvard Combined Orthopaedic Residency Program, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

3 Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

4 Hôpital de l’Université d’É􀆵 tat d’Haï􀇅ti (HUEH), Port-Au- Prince, Haiti

5 Hospital l’Universite de La Paix (HUP), Port-Au-Prince, Haiti

6 Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA


Healthcare is expensive and often inaccessible to many. As a result, surgeons must consider simple, less expensive
interventions when possible. For wound care, an older but quite effective cleaning agent is Dakin’s solution (0.5%
sodium hypochlorite), an easily made mixture of 100 milliliters (ml) bleach with 8 teaspoons (tsp) baking soda into a
gallon of clean water or 25 ml bleach and 2 tsp baking soda into a liter of water. Gauze is then wet with this solution,
placed on the wound, and replaced every 24 hours as needed. Our team of surgeons in Haiti and the United States
is currently using Dakin’s solution for wound care following orthopedic surgery and finds it to be a low-cost, safe, and
effective treatment for post-surgical wound care for both resource-limited and non-resource strained environments.
This report aims to update the current literature and encourage the consideration of Dakin’s solution for modern
wound care.
Level of evidence: III


Main Subjects