UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN MEDICAL FOUNDATION
CLINICAL POLICY AND PROCEDURE
TITLE: SKELETAL PIN CARE
Effective Date: June, 2004 Approval: See Authorization
Supersedes Protocol: None Contact: Clinical Staff Education
Reviewed April, 2005 November 2007 June 2009 October 2011
PURPOSE: To provide guidelines for care of skeletal pins at UWMF Clinics.
DEFINITION: Skeletal pins are used to assist bone healing and for proper bone placement.
POLICY: The clinical staff will utilize the following guidelines to assist with or perform skeletal pin care for
SUPPLIES: Sterile drape, Chlorhexidine solution, hydrogen peroxide, sterile gloves, 4x4 gauze pads,
sterile water, 2 sterile Q-tips per site, Chlorhexidine patches, 2 sterile containers, Sterile forceps,
Provider’s order, Patient’s record
1. Check provider’s order and clarify any inconsistencies.
2. Wash hands gather equipment.
3. Introduce yourself and identify the patient. Include date of birth and verify allergies.
4. Explain procedure to the patient.
5. Open sterile Q-tips and place on sterile field.
6. In one sterile container pour one(1) ounce hydrogen peroxide and 1 ounce sterile water, in the other sterile
container pour one(1) ounce chlorhexidine.
7. Put on sterile gloves.
8. Using same forceps, remove old gauze/dressing from pin sites, including any threads, and discard in proper
container or remove old chlorhexidene patch.
9. Place forceps in bin for sterilization
NOTE: DO NOT place forceps back on sterile field.
10. Cleanse skin around pin site by rolling sterile 50:50 hydrogen peroxide/sterile water soaked Q-tip. Then
discard Q-tips. Repeat step, using each Q-tip only once, to clean all pin sites.
11. Repeat step 13, using chlorhexidine-soaked Q-tip. Then discard Q-tips.
12. Wrap one chlorhexidene patch around each pin site.
13. Observe for and report any signs of pin site infection or pin migration to provider (drainage, redness,
swelling, tenting of skin or widening at pin sites).
14. Provide discharge instructions
When to call
o any redness, odor or tenderness at pin sites
o tenting or widening of the pins
15. Documentation (Progress Notes in HealthLink)
Procedure performed and condition of pin sites
How the patient tolerated the procedure
Instructions given to the patient
WRITTEN BY: Ronnie Peterson, R.N., M.S., Manager of Clinical Support
REVISED BY: Carol Decker, RN, MSN, Clinical Staff Educator
REVIEWED BY: Lynn Posick, NP, Ortho/Rehab - Foot/Ankle
Kowalak, J. P. (Ed.). (2009). Lippincott’s nursing procedures (5th ed.). Ambler, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Perry, A.G. & Potter, P.A. (2002). Clinical nursing skills & techniques. (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby.
Perry, A.G. & Potter, P.A. (2009). Fundamentals of nursing. (7th ed.). Hall, A. & Stockert, P.A. (Eds.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby
Medical Director Date