Wound infection is a condition in which the wound becomes infected with bacteria, resulting in a slow wound healing, which can leave some complications such as keloid or concave scars.

Every wound has a certain amount of bacteria, but only some wounds become infected. So on what basis to diagnose an infected wound and how to treat this type of wound? The following article would like to share some information to answer the above two questions as follows:

1. Definition, classification

Infected wounds are wounds that have the penetration of bacteria in a certain amount sufficient to cause symptoms of infection such as swelling, warmth, redness, pain, inflammatory exudate, pus or necrotic tissue.

There are two types of wound infections: superficial infections (infections above the fascia) and deep infections (infections below the fascia).

2. Bacterial origin

– Available in the body: most commonly bacteria on the surface of the skin or resident in the mucosal layer.

– From an infected organ, such as a wound infection of appendicitis. Bacteria found in the appendix are the cause of surgical site infections.

– From the outside environment: operating room, tools, technical manipulations that are not guaranteed to be sterile,…

3. Diagnostic criteria for wound infection

3.1 Superficial infection

Infection occurring within 30 days of wounding of the skin or subcutaneous tissue above the fascia is manifested by:

Pus oozing from a wound or drainage site.

– The wound is closed but the discharge contains bacteria.

– The surgeon must open the wound because the patient has fever or pain even though the wound culture does not contain bacteria.

3.2 Deep infection

Due to a superficial infection that penetrates deep into the fascia of the soft tissues, manifested by:

– The wound must be opened because the patient has fever, swelling and pain even though the culture does not contain bacteria.

– There is an abscess or signs of infection on examination, surgery or histological examination.

X-ray or CT scan if the wound is deep tissue or there is a foreign body in the wound.

4. Treatment

Depending on the severity, location of the wound, and the patient’s health condition, there are different methods of treatment and care. In general, some of the following therapies will be needed:

Medicines: drugs to treat infections, relieve pain, and swelling.

– Use gauze with good absorbency such as foam, alginate, hydrofiber. Not only that, these types of gauze also create a favorable environment for seed organizations to develop, helping the healing process to be faster.

– Regularly clean the wound with physiological saline and antiseptic solution. Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy can be used to increase oxygen to tissues, helping them heal faster.

Using surgery to clean the wound or remove necrotic or infected tissue. Surgery is also needed to remove the foreign body.

Eat foods rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals.

– Avoid stress, do not smoke, use stimulants because these are factors that slow wound healing.

– Good management of underlying diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, varicose veins, …



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