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March 1959

Effect of Antibacterial Agents on Clean Wounds

AMA Arch Surg. 1959;78(3):480-482. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1959.04320030124020

Substances for local application to wounds continue to be offered and frequently recommended as adjuncts to epithelization, despite the known facts that chemicals applied to wounds generally retard their healing. Lister first recognized that his antiseptic agents often delayed rather than supported wound healing, and thus began the emphasis upon asepsis, rather than antisepsis. The sulfonamide drugs were widely used in wounds until clinical and experimental studies revealed them to be deleterious. Even with this, as each new antimicrobial agent is discovered, an ointment is invariably promoted for application to wound surfaces. These agents must be appraised, as they appear, in order that no harm should be done through their use.

The study of the healing wound and inflammation has attracted many investigators, in an effort to understand better the physiologic processes involved. From these studies have come elaborate methods for following the wounds and discrening the processes. For the

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