The possible consequences of wound infections include (1) delayed healing, (2) formation of abscesses, and (3) extension of the bacteria or their products into adjacent tissues or the blood-stream. Surgical wounds often split open because swelling causes the stitches to pull through tissues softened by the infection. Also, the infection can extend to involve devices such as an artificial hip, often necessitating removal of the device pending control of the infection.
The following sections present some aspects ofwound infections caused by staphylococci, streptococci, and Pseudomonas sp.
Tissue tial source of infection of other parts of the body if they escape the surrounding area of inflammation and enter the blood or lymph vessels. Generally, abscesses must burst to a body surface or be drained surgically in order to effect a cure. ■ antimicrobial medications, p. 507
Another important feature of many wounds is that they are relatively anaerobic, thus allowing colonization by dangerous anaerobic pathogens such as Clostridium tetani. Anaerobic conditions are especially likely in dirty wounds, wounds with crushed tissue,
Staphylococci lead the causes of wound infections, both surgical (figure 27.3) and accidental. Staphylococci are commonly present in the nostrils or on the skin. Of the 30 or more recognized species of staphylococci, only two account for most human wound infections.
Staphylococci are pyogenic, meaning that they characteristically cause the production of a purulent discharge, otherwise known as pus. They usually cause an inflammatory reaction, with swelling,
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