Since the time of Lister, the local caregiven wounds—particularly from the standpoint of prophylaxis of infection—has been the center of much medical discussion. Naturally, the type of therapy used will be influenced by such factors as the degree of contamination, the length of time since injury and the location, type and extent of injury.
Various antiseptics, as they have been discovered, have been used in wounds as easy substitutes for cleansing. It was learned long ago that antiseptics strong enough to destroy bacteria in wounds would likewise have a harmful effect on the tissues. World War I and the good results obtained by Dr. Alexis Carrel1 in the treatment of infected wounds at his hospital at Compiègne, France, brought about a widespread acceptance of wound irrigation. After experimenting with numerous disinfectants, in conjunction with Dakin, he concluded that his best results were obtained with use of a solution of
PETERSON LW. PROPHYLAXIS OF WOUND INFECTION: STUDIES WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO SOAPS AND IRRIGATION. Arch Surg. 1945;50(4):177–183. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1945.01230030185001
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