After sustaining a wound, wound infection can occur in the wound area. In the past, all forms of wound infection were also called gangrene. If a wound infection could not be prevented in time, this infection usually requires targeted therapeutic treatment.
What is wound infection?
In medicine, we speak of a wound infection when a wound becomes infected due to invading microorganisms. Such a wound infection is usually manifested, for example, by an inflammatory process in the wound area. For meaning of benign prostatic hyperplasia in English, please visit sportingology.com.
A wound infection is assigned to the so-called wound healing disorders. In particular, wounds where there has been extensive tissue loss (as can occur, for example, as a result of severe burns or as a result of dog bites) are prone to developing wound infection.
One of the reasons for this is that such wounds often cannot be stitched up, but have to heal naturally. Healing can take up to a few months and the wound is therefore susceptible to the penetration of harmful microorganisms.
A special form of wound infection is the MRSA infection or the nosocomial infection. Due to the increasing occurrence of antibiotic resistance, methicillin-resistant bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, occur primarily in unhygienic hospitals.
Corresponding microorganisms that lead to a wound infection are in most cases pathogenic bacteria (i.e. bacteria that can cause diseases). More rarely, viruses or parasites that penetrate a wound can also be responsible for developing a wound infection.
However, penetration of the relevant bacteria, viruses or parasites does not always lead to a wound infection; whether an infection occurs depends, among other things, on the type of pathogens that have penetrated, their number and also the immune system of the affected patient.
If bacteria are the cause of a wound infection, such an infection can manifest itself in various forms: So-called cocci (spherical bacteria), for example, usually lead to a pronounced formation of pus in the wound area, while putrefactive bacteria often cause a characteristic odor that is associated with a wound infection.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
An existing wound infection is usually accompanied by fairly clear symptoms that can cause significant pain. As a rule, a wound infection is always associated with severe reddening of the affected area. Affected people can see such redness with the naked eye. In some cases, a visible swelling can also be seen, which also occurs directly at the wound.
Another and fairly definite symptom is the formation of pus fluid. The formation of pus is very common in connection with wound infection, as this is a sign of severe inflammation. Anyone who decides at this point in favor of medical and drug treatment is making the right choice. Such treatment is essential in the event of a wound infection, as otherwise the symptoms that appear can significantly worsen.
The infection may spread throughout the body, posing a risk of blood poisoning. In some cases, an abscess forms at the wound. This is a cavity that fills with pus fluid. The pressure inside increases over time, allowing the pus to enter the bloodstream. Such an abscess is also visible to the naked eye and should be treated by a doctor as soon as possible.
Diagnosis & History
First, a wound infection can be diagnosed using what is known as microbiological evidence. For this purpose, for example, swabs are taken from the wound area and tested for an existing wound infection.
Other diagnostic procedures to be able to confirm the presence of a wound infection can be, if necessary, an X- ray or the implementation of an ultrasound : The X-ray method can, for example, show pus foci that have formed as part of a wound infection to a limited extent. The ultrasound method can also be used to detect fluids that have accumulated in the wound area; Before this diagnostic examination, the ultrasound head is usually disinfected.
The course of a wound infection depends on various factors. For example, the type of trigger for a wound infection plays a role. In addition, an early start of treatment and appropriate medical treatment can have a positive effect on the course of a wound infection.
A wound infection can lead to complications, which are mainly related to the size of the wound and wound hygiene. On the other hand, professional care of the wound with constant checks and medical care rules out complications in most cases.
The infection of a wound always means a point of attack for other pathogens that colonize the wound in the event of insufficient hygiene or in the event of exposure. They lead to poorer healing of the wound, cause typical symptoms of infection or exacerbate existing symptoms. If the wound is large and damaged to such an extent that the body can no longer heal the wound, surgical procedures must be considered in the interests of health. Amputations and partial amputations may be necessary in severe cases.
In addition, a wound that is poorly cared for hygienically increases the risk of blood poisoning and the associated sepsis. This condition is always life-threatening and can hardly be treated in severe cases. If left untreated, such a gangrene leads to the death of the affected person.
In addition, a deep wound infection can lead to consequential damage, which affects muscles and nerves, among other things. Loss of function in the affected area, especially in wounds that are difficult to heal, can occur. The risk of all complications in this context can be reduced with adequate hygiene measures.
When should you go to the doctor?
Normally, wounds heal slowly and steadily. A doctor is not needed if a continuous improvement of the wound can be seen over several days and existing symptoms decrease. However, if there is an increase in health impairments or other irregularities develop, a medical examination is required. There is a need for action if there is swelling in the area of the wound and severe reddening. Since sepsis can occur in the event of an unfavorable course, consultation with a doctor is necessary.
Blood poisoning is a potentially life-threatening condition. Therefore, a doctor should be consulted if there is a deterioration in general health over a short period of time. A fever or formation of pus is cause for concern. If an abscess develops, a doctor’s visit is necessary. If there are rapid changes in health within a few minutes, you should go to a hospital immediately.
If the person concerned complains of pain, sudden severe tiredness or a decrease in physical strength, this should be investigated. If you feel unwell or feel generally ill, there is a health problem that needs to be examined and treated. Irritability, severe restriction of movement and hypersensitivity to touch are signs of an existing irregularity. This must be clarified by a doctor.
Treatment & Therapy
In the medical treatment of a wound infection, there is often a so-called wound revision, i.e. a detailed examination of the wound infection. This wound revision is intended, for example, to provide information about the depths of a wound that a corresponding wound infection has already penetrated and to what extent the wound is contaminated.
Furthermore, as part of the wound revision, it is checked whether blood vessels, nerves or body cavities have been affected by the wound infection. As part of a subsequent surgical treatment of the wound infection, dead tissue in the wound area is removed if necessary.
If a wound infection is accompanied by excessive weeping of the affected wound, another possible therapeutic measure is the placement of a so-called wound drainage, i.e. a form of drainage system through which tissue fluids can be drained to the outside. Subsequent treatment of a wound infection often follows in the form of a daily change of dressing, for which sterile (germ-free) dressing material must be used, among other things.
In rare cases, the wound infection can spread and lead to sepsis ( blood poisoning ). If this is the case, an additional dose of antibiotics may be necessary.
In order to prevent wound infection, a wound should first be cleaned and cared for quickly, among other things. Depending on the severity of a wound suffered, it may make sense to consult the doctor treating you at an early stage in case of doubt in order to ensure professional wound care and to prevent wound infection.
A wound infection can cause serious complications. In the worst case, the patient risks blood poisoning. Therefore, wound infections must be treated with special care. First of all, it is important to protect the wound from external influences in everyday life. Contamination must be avoided at all costs. For this reason, the wound should be covered over a large area.
This is done with the help of appropriate plasters or, in the case of larger wounds, with a wound dressing, which should be checked and changed regularly. If the secretion of wound fluid increases, this must be clarified with the doctor treating you. The type and frequency of dressing changes should also be discussed with the doctor. In order to promote wound healing, bandages must be applied in such a way that there is no feeling of tension in the affected region.
Stretching of the skin caused by this could lead to further disorders and enlarge the wound or impair the wound healing process. Movement and motor skills should be adjusted accordingly while the wound is healing and possible overexertion should be avoided. It is often advisable to stop all sporting activities during the healing period. In order to support the organism in recovery, attention should be paid to a healthy lifestyle. A balanced diet and an adequate intake of vitamins and fluids help
You can do that yourself
In the case of a wound infection, special care must be taken. In order not to risk blood poisoning, it is important to closely monitor health developments. A doctor must be consulted in the event of an increase in symptoms or general irregularities. Otherwise, it can lead to an acute condition and premature death.
In everyday life, care must be taken to protect the wound from external influences. In particular, contamination should be avoided. For this reason, the affected area must be generously covered or protected against touching. The wound dressing should be checked and changed at regular intervals. If there is an increase in wound fluid, there is a need for action. If you are unsure about the correct procedure for changing a bandage, consult your doctor.
In the general movement sequences, care must be taken to ensure that there are no feelings of tension. These can lead to stretching of the skin and thus to disorders. There is a risk of an enlargement of the existing wound or impairments in the progressive healing process. It is therefore important to adapt the motor skills to the health conditions and to avoid overloading. It is therefore often necessary to completely avoid sporting activities during the recovery period.
Sufficient vitamins should be supplied to the organism to support healing. It is therefore important to ensure a balanced diet.