wound


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wound

1. any break in the skin or an organ or part as the result of violence or a surgical incision
2. an injury to plant tissue
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Wound

 

a mechanical injury to organic tissues with disruption of the continuity of such structures as skin and mucous membranes. Wounds are characterized by three basic local symptoms: (1) separation of the edges of the wound, which varies with the extent, depth, and location of the wound, (2) pain, and (3) bleeding; the last two result from injury to nerves and blood vessels. In addition to causing anatomical and functional disturbances to tissues and organs, some wounds are dangerous because they may lead to acute anemia or shock as a result of heavy bleeding or to wound infections, including such anaerobic infections as gangrene and tetanus.

Wounds are classified according to the causes of the injury as surgical, accidental, or combat wounds, according to the type of injury to the tissues as incised, puncture, gash, contused, bite, flap, crushed, or gunshot wounds, according to the presence of a wound infection as aseptic or infected wounds (practically all accidental wounds become infected), and according to penetration into body cavities, such as the pleural, abdominal, cranial, or articular cavities, as penetrating or nonpenetrating wounds.

Penetrating wounds are dangerous because the cavity may become infected or the organs within the cavity, for example, the lungs, liver, stomach, or intestine, may be injured. Puncture wounds are often quite deep, which may result in the trauma of organs and blood vessels located deep in the wound. A large number of crushed nonviable tissues and blood clots that encourage infection (especially anaerobic infection) are characteristic of contused, lacerated, and gash wounds. Wounds caused by bites may be complicated by the development of a severe infection; rabies, for example, is caused by pathogenic flora entering the wound from the mouth of the diseased animal.

The healing of a wound depends on the nature of the wound and on the presence or absence of infection. A linear incised wound that is not infected heals by first intention if the gap is corrected and the edges of the wound are brought together by sutures, clips, or strips of adhesive tape. The gap is filled with blood clots, fibrin, and the cells of injured and dead tissues; the last subsequently either tear away from the wound with discharges or undergo phagocytosis, which results in the wound cavity filling with special cells called fibroblasts. The blood capillaries start growing together from the edges of the wound at the end of the second day. By the fifth to seventh days, cicatricial tissue forms from the fibroblasts and new blood vessels and regeneration of the epithelium covering the tissue starts. The conversion of immature connective tissue into a permanent scar continues for several months.

Wounds that heal by second intention include wounds whose edges were not joined (that is, the cavity remained), as well as infected wounds and wounds complicated by suppuration. Healing by second intention is a longer process because it goes through a stage during which granulations develop; the granulations fill the wound cavity and gradually epithelialize from the edges of the wound. Severe systemic diseases, exhaustion, and hypovitaminoses cause even surgical wounds to heal by second intention.

First aid for wounds should be rendered immediately at the site of the accident by the victim himself or persons nearby. The purpose of first aid is to prevent the secondary contamination of the wound, to stop the bleeding, and to permit the wound to rest. The skin around the wound is cleaned with cotton or gauze moistened with water, ether, or alcohol (fluid must not enter the wound), and a sterile pad is applied to the wound and secured by a bandage, Kleol, or adhesive tape. Slight bleeding can usually be halted by applying a pressure bandage. In addition to a bandage, a tourniquet is applied on the part of the extremity above a wound if arterial bleeding is copious. If there is both a wound and a bone fracture, the extremity is immobilized.

Qualified first aid, or first surgical treatment, is provided by a surgeon, who removes nonviable tissues, blood clots, and foreign bodies from a wound, ligates bleeding vessels, excises the edges and bottom of contused, lacerated, and crushed wounds (which become incised wounds after treatment), and sews wounds up with interrupted sutures; all these procedures promote healing by first intention. A delayed suture can be applied (in two or three days) that draws the edges of an infected wound together, if it is not suppurating. Specific preventive measures are taken to prevent tetanus in cases of lacerated and contused wounds contaminated by dirt, prophylactic injections of anti-gangrene serum are made, and measures are taken to prevent posttraumatic sepsis.

Physical therapy, including ultraviolet irradiation treatment and treatment with ultrashort waves, and administration of antiseptics, hypertonic saline solutions, solutions of potassium permanganate, antibiotics, and sulfanilamide preparations, is used extensively in the case of suppurative wounds.

REFERENCES

Struchkov, V. I. Obshchaia khirurgiia. Moscow, 1966.
Kamaev, M. F. Infitsirovannaia rana i ee lecheme, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1970.

R. T. PANCHENKOV and A. G. KISSIN

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

What does it mean when you dream about a wound?

The term wound is often used as a metaphor for the impact of negative emotional experiences. The healing of old wounds may thus be indicated by this dream symbol.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Even so did he cry when he was wounded; thereon the others came near, and gathered round him, holding their shields upwards from their shoulders so as to give him cover.
What do you want with me?" And Achilles answered, "Noble son of Menoetius, man after my own heart, I take it that I shall now have the Achaeans praying at my knees, for they are in great straits; go, Patroclus, and ask Nestor who it is that he is bearing away wounded from the field; from his back I should say it was Machaon son of Aesculapius, but I could not see his face for the horses went by me at full speed."
When the old man saw him he sprang from his seat, seized his hand, led him into the tent, and bade him take his place among them; but Patroclus stood where he was and said, "Noble sir, I may not stay, you cannot persuade me to come in; he that sent me is not one to be trifled with, and he bade me ask who the wounded man was whom you were bearing away from the field.
And Nestor answered, "Why should Achilles care to know how many of the Achaeans may be wounded? He recks not of the dismay that reigns in our host; our most valiant chieftains lie disabled, brave Diomed, son of Tydeus, is wounded; so are Ulysses and Agamemnon; Eurypylus has been hit with an arrow in the thigh, and I have just been bringing this man from the field--he too wounded with an arrow.
When he had got as far as the ships of Ulysses, where was their place of assembly and court of justice, with their altars dedicated to the gods, Eurypylus son of Euaemon, met him, wounded in the thigh with an arrow, and limping out of the fight.
At the next inn you will find a wounded man, now being attended by our servants, who has asked the assistance of a minister of God."
"What a misfortune for the wounded man to die under the hands of such a friar!"
They had now arrived within sight of the little inn and could see on the opposite side the procession bearing the wounded man and guided by Monsieur d'Arminges.
"There is the wounded man," said De Guiche, passing close to the Augustine brother.
The young men rode up to the wounded man to announce that they were followed by the priest.
Those speeches were intended for quite other conditions, they were for the most part to be spoken at a moment of victory and triumph, generally when he was dying of wounds and the sovereign had thanked him for heroic deeds, and while dying he expressed the love his actions had proved.
Dolokhov- now an officer- wounded in the arm, and on foot, with the regimental commander on horseback and some ten men of his company, represented all that was left of that whole regiment.