06 August 2009

Wound Infection

Wound Infection.
To a certain someone.

#1, souce: http://www.drugs.com/cg/wound-infection.html

What are the signs and symptoms of a wound infection? You may have any of the following:
  • High or low body temperature, low blood pressure, or a fast heart beat.

  • Increased discharge (blood or other fluid) or pus coming out of the wound. The discharge or pus may have an odd color or a bad smell.

  • Increased swelling that goes past the wound area and does not go away after five days. Swollen areas usually look red, feel painful, and feel warm when you touch them.

  • Wounds that do not heal or get better with treatment.

  • An old wound that bleeds easily.

  • A wound that is painful, even though it does not look like it should be.

#2, source: http://www.worldwidewounds.com/2004/january/Collier/Management-of-Wound-infections.html

Recognition of wound infection

The inflammatory response is a protective mechanism that aims to neutralise and destroy any toxic agents at the site of an injury and restore tissue homeostasis [17]. There are a number of indicators of infection, these include the classic signs related to the inflammatory process and further more subtle changes as highlighted by Cutting and Harding [18]. The classic signs of infection include:
  • Localised erythema
  • Localised pain
  • Localised heat
  • Cellulitus
  • Oedema. 
Further criteria include:
  • Abscess
  • Discharge which may be viscous in nature, discoloured and purulent
  • Delayed healing not previously anticipated
  • Discolouration of tissues both within and at the wound margins
  • Friable, bleeding granulation tissue despite gentle handling of and the non adhesive nature of wound management materials used
  • Unexpected pain and/or tenderness either at the time of dressing change or reported by the patient as associated specifically with the wound even when the wound dressing is in place
  • Abnormal smell
  • Wound breakdown associated with wound pocketing/bridging at base of wound, ie when a wound that was assessed as healing starts to develop strips of granulation tissue in the base as opposed to a uniform spread of granulation tissue across the whole of the wound bed.
The above criteria should be used as discriminating factors when the 'classic' signs of wound infection do not appear to be present but the presence of a wound infection is suspected, usually as a result of a delay in wound healing that was not anticipated from the patient's medical history or knowledge of the patient's wound.


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