By Alton R. Johnson, Jr, DPM
I can hear it now: "Alton! Don't forget to wash your hands." That's the voice of my grandmother I hear anytime I needed to wash my hands after using the lavatory, before and after treating patients, and before eating. However, I also have the voice of my residency director in my head issuing a similar reminder. I recall one of the very first emergency room consults I had as an intern and excitedly calling her about the patient presentation. I specifically told her the wound is very pungent and malodorous. She quickly replied, with over 30 years of wound care experience, "Alton, did you wash the wound?" and that was when it hit me. I told her, "No, I did not wash the wound." She responded, "Well, call me back when you wash it; then we can better assess if it's truly infection or not." It was at this very moment I learned the very first step of wound care. This step is known as "Please Wash Your Wound!" and it is equally important for both health care providers and patients to understand the basic steps for cleaning a wound.