a severe complication of an extensive infected wound.
Posttraumatic sepsis generally develops as a result of deep and persistent wounds of the spine, abdominal cavity, thorax, or major joints after primary surgical treatment has proved inadequate. It is brought about by a chronic absorption of the decomposition products of wound tissue and bacterial toxins. Metabolic processes are subsequently disturbed; protein metabolism is most affected and results in the progressive exhaustion of the afflicted individual and pathological changes in the liver, kidneys, heart, and other internal organs. As posttraumatic sepsis develops, the healing of the wound is disturbed and tissue-decomposition processes predominate over repair processes.
Preventive measures include the thorough primary surgical treatment of a wound, the early incision of purulent edemas, and, if possible, the removal of suppurating bone and soft tissues. Treatment is also aimed at removing dead and diseased tissues as soon as possible and at strengthening the organism’s defensive mechanisms. Frequent transfusions of blood and protein preparations and an adequate protein and vitamin-rich diet are important in treating posttraumatic sepsis.