Origin and Use of Hydrogen Peroxide in Neurosurgery

David Bailey, Elias B. Rizk

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a chemical with a wide range of applications. This includes its use in the medical feld, in which its use has been ubiquitous but is most useful as an antiseptic and in achieving hemostasis. Neurosurgeons have been using H2O2 for well over a century, primarily for its hemostatic and antiseptic e?ects. This is in spite of the fact that the actual e?ectiveness of H2O2 as an antiseptic is questionable, and its use, in general, may be more dangerous than it appears. We review the application of H2O2 in medicine generally and, more specifcally, in neurosurgery. This review outlines the reasoning behind the use of H2O2 as an antiseptic and details why it may not be as e?ective as one might think. We also detail its use as a hemostatic agent in neurosurgery, reviewing a number of techniques in which it has been useful in this role. Finally, we review the documented cases of complications associated with the use of H2O2 in neurosurgery. Ultimately, we conclude that the use of H2O2 in neurosurgery be reconsidered because of its lack of effectiveness as an antiseptic and potentially fatal complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E3-E7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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