External Fixator and Halo Pin Care

  1. Wash hands. Use gloves. Prepare a clean work surface.
  2. NOTE: Perform this step only if instructed by MD or RN. This is not routine. 
    Using sterile swabs with a solution of one-half hydrogen peroxide and one-half normal saline, pull back the skin around the pins and clean vigorously two times a day. (You should use approximately 1 teaspoonful (5cc) of normal saline and hydrogen peroxide).
  3. Wrap normal saline damp gauze sponges around the base of the pin.
  4. Call the orthopaedic nurse if there is excessive redness, swelling, tenting (skin sticks to the pins and forms a tepee around the pin), increased drainage, or fever over 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. Shampoo hair daily, if needed, or at least every other day using regular shampoo or alternate with Phisoderm to reduce bacteria.
  2. Check head position. If there is head movement around the pins, a nurse should be notified.
  3. Using sterile swabs with a solution of half hydrogen peroxide and half normal saline, pull back skin around the pins and clean thoroughly two times a day (use approximately 1 teaspoonful (5cc) of the normal saline and hydrogen peroxide solution).
  4. Carry out routine skin care if in a cast or brace. (Find more information about Cast Care. Follow the instructions for skin care.)

NOTE: A non-sterile solution of normal saline can be prepared by boiling 1 quart of water with 1 tablespoon of salt.

If you need to reach the orthopaedic nurse before 4 pm Monday through Friday, call 513-636-4567. After 4 pm and during weekends and holidays, call 513-636-4200 and ask that the orthopaedic resident on call be paged.

Last Updated 03/2016