Terms to Know: Surgical Wounds

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by the WoundSource Editors

Acute wound: A wound that results from a documentable event, with the assumption that it will progress normally through the four phases of wound healing.

Antimicrobial: Describing the property pertaining to any of several categories of agents that are intended to be toxic to pathogenic organisms, including antibacterials, antiprotozoals, antifungals, and antiparasitics.

Chronic wound: A wound that has failed to re-epithelialize after three months, usually because of failure to progress past the inflammatory phase of wound healing.

Intraoperative phase: The time period beginning when the patient is brought to the operating suite and ending when the patient’s procedure is complete, typically when skin is closed and dressed and the patient is transferred to the post-anesthesia or recovery unit.

Primary closure: The complete closure of tissue incised during a procedure, up to the skin level.

Risk factor: Any factor that is unique to the patient’s condition that may predispose the individual to a higher likelihood of developing a given problem such as a surgical site infection. May be modifiable nor non-modifiable.

Surgical site infection (SSI): An infection of a surgical wound, tissue, or organ space adjacent to the wound occurring within 30 days of the procedure without involvement of surgical implants and within 90 days of the procedure if an implant is involved.

Wound dehiscence: The disruption of layered wound closure after a surgical procedure; this term does not necessarily include evisceration, which is the protrusion of abdominal contents through fascia.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, Kestrel Health Information, Inc., its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.

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