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What Is Wound Therapy?

Cutting away dead tissue from around the wound allows it to heal more quickly.
Wounds must be carefully covered with sterile dressing to prevent infection.
Wound therapy involves cleaning the wound.
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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2014
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Wound therapy is a broad term that applies to various strategies designed to aid in the healing of a wound. The therapy can include such processes as cleaning the wound, cutting away dead tissue from the area immediately around the wound, sealing the wound with sutures or stitches, and dressing the wound. In all its forms, wound therapy has the goal of allowing the body’s natural resources to heal the wound, even as the therapy removes foreign matter and prevents external factors from disrupting the healing process.

One of the first approaches to wound therapy has to do with cleaning the wound. This involves removing any type of residue that may be present in the open wound. For example, if the wound were sustained by scraping against pavement or loose gravel, the first order of business would be to inspect the wound for the presence of sand, dirt, or any small chunks of gravel. After carefully removing any foreign matter that is detected, sterile solutions can be used to kill any germs present. Once the open wound is cleaned, the process of wound therapy can move on to the task of sealing the wound.

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As part of wound management, the open wound is examined as to the depth and length of the opening. This can provide insight into whether there is a need to make use of some type of sutures or stitches to close the wound. Today, it is not unusual for simple adhesive strips to be used in place of stitches. These sterile strips help to hold the wound closed, allowing the body to begin repairing the damaged tissue.

Dressing the wound is also an important component of wound therapy. Sterile dressing helps to cover the wound and prevent any contamination from taking place. One popular approach to covering open wounds is known as moist dressing. With this application, the dressing is just moist enough to create the proper environment to facilitate healing, but not wet enough to distress the surrounding skin. In general, dressings are changed periodically during the healing process,

One aspect of wound therapy that is sometimes overlooked is known as wound debridement. This is essentially the process of cutting away dead tissue from around the wound. Debridement makes it easier for healthy tissue on the exterior area of the wound to mesh and eventually seal the wound. Taking the time to clear away dead tissue also helps to keep the presence of scar tissue to a minimum, which means the affected area will look very much as it did before the wound occurred.

The exact process of wound therapy will vary, depending on the location and the severity of the wound itself. In some cases, the therapy will take place over several weeks. For more simplistic wounds, the entire process of wound therapy may involve nothing more than basic first aid, and take place over the course of day or two.

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