Betadine (useless title: Medical Question) : LUSENET : ER Discussions : One Thread

When the staff was in the ER and, in this case (All In The Family), Kerry has to use the Sternal Saw on Lucy, someone pours a purple/red liquid down the middle of Lucy's chest before Dr. Weaver uses it. What exactly is that liquid, and why do they need it? I know they use it in other cases, but this is the only one I could think of.

-- Roybal (, July 04, 2000


Response to Medical Question

The liquid is betadine (also sometimes called iodine). It's an antiseptic used to prevent infection. Surgeons swab the area with it before performing any type of surgical procedure. In an emergency situation they can't be as precise so they tend to just squeeze it straight out of the bottle.

-- Carin Haseltine (, July 04, 2000.

It is also used (at least here in Spain) for surgeons to wash their hands before surgery (betadine mixed with soap, more or less).It┤s useful for most kinds of wounds, to prevet them from getting infected.

-- InÚs (, March 04, 2001.

are you sure??

-- Ph.Hamilton (, March 10, 2001.

Betadine is used in, Britain anyway, by medical staff, surgeons included, for skin disinfection. it's also used to clean the skin around open wounds, i.e. PD Catheters.

-- Mark Tehan (, May 17, 2001.

Povidone-iodine solution (a/k/a Betadine) is a topical disinfectant used in just about every medical setting. Betadine is preferred to other skin disinfectants like CHG (another disinfectant) or alcohol because it's much less irritating and has a better "residual activity", i.e. how effective it is at killing bugs after it's been applied. In my ED every supply cart has at least 3 or 4 bottles of the stuff, and it also comes in pre-packaged wipes or swabs that you can carry in a scrubs pocket.

As a partial list, it's used in surgery as a skin prep for the patient's operative site ("painted" on pre-op), mixed with soap as a hand-scrub for surgeons (although most ORs use CHG or some other scrub), applied to minor injuries in the ED and the office setting (painted or wiped on usually), and sometimes used to disinfect the skin around an IV or cath site. (If you've ever donated blood at a Red Cross drive and noticed that they wipe yellow stuff all over your inside elbow, that's Betadine; it keeps the access site clean if not 100% sterile.) Very handy stuff to keep around...

-- Lindsay E. Murphy (, May 17, 2001.

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