Debridement and Wound Care: Important Terms to Know
by the WoundSource Editors
Calciphylaxis: A disorder, generally found in end stage renal disease, but not limited to renal patients, with widespread calcification of small and medium sized vessels, that leads to occlusion, thrombosis, and tissue necrosis. Extreme cases can be life-threatening.
Enzymatic debridement: Removal of devitalized tissue from the wound base through an externally applied chemical or enzyme. Debridement may be selective or nonselective, depending on the chemical or enzyme used.
Epibole: The upper edges of the epidermis roll to envelop the basement membrane, or lower edges of the epidermis, so that epithelial migration does not occur at wound edges.
Epidermis: Outermost layer of skin consisting of five layers of differentiating epithelial cells whose primary type is the keratinocyte.
Epithelialization: The stage of wound healing where epidermal cells proliferate and migrate across the surface of the wound from the wound margins and the remaining hair follicles. These cells are pink or white at the wound edges or in islands over granulation tissue.
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Fibrinous devitalized tissue/necrosis: A metabolic byproduct that is composed of serum and matrix proteins; may be white, yellow, tan, brown, or green. It may be loose or firmly adherent and have a stringy or fibrous texture and appearance.
Full- thickness wound: Tissue damage involving total loss of epidermis and dermis and extending, at the minimum, into the subcutaneous tissue and possibly through the fascia, muscle, or bone.
Hypergranulation: Granulation tissue that is friable, suggesting heavy bacterial bioburden. Frequently raised above the level of the periwound skin, it may also be seen in wound base, below the periwound surface.
Proliferation: Cell division or mitosis. In wounds, forming new cells within the granulation tissue that populate or secrete the extracellular matrix to replace lost or damaged tissue.
Selective debridement: Any type of debridement that removes only non-viable tissue or foreign matter from the wound.
Surgical or sharp debridement: Removal of devitalized tissue to or into the level of viable tissue by a sharp instrument, laser, or selective device. This procedure may require the administration of local or general anesthesia.
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