Hydrogen peroxide – a party trick from the past?
Hydrogen peroxide solutions are found in almost every operating theatre and are used by many surgical specialties, often with little knowledge of their inherent risk. We reviewed the literature and evidence related to the use of hydrogen peroxide in surgery. We found little evidence supporting the use of hydrogen peroxide solutions intraoperatively, a large number of reports of sometimes-fatal oxygen embolism and other evidence of tissue toxicity. We conclude that the use of hydrogen peroxide as an antiseptic has no direct benefit, but is associated with significant risk, and therefore should be reconsidered.