After more than three years experience with improved topical therapy for major thermal wounds,1,2 it is apparent that wound infection remains a significant threat to burned man. Although the frequency of burn wound sepsis and death therefrom has been much reduced and survival significantly improved, infection by Pseudomonas aeruginosa continues to cause more deaths than any other complication when careful bacteriologic and autopsy examinations are regularly done.3
The careful studies of Brentano et al4 indicated that increasing numbers of bacteria were elaborated from the burn wound concomitant with clinical invasive sepsis. Studies undertaken with a simpler technique for serial quantitative bacteriologic assay of the burn wound indicated that significant increases in bacterial wound density preceded invasive infection as well as all clinical signs thereof.5 It was surmised and subsequently confirmed, that prompt detection of such increased bacterial density might allow earlier diagnosis of burn wound infection,
Polk HC, Ward CG, Clarkson JG, Taplin D. Early Detection of Pseudomonas Burn Infection: Clinical Experience With Wood's Light Fluorescence. Arch Surg. 1969;98(3):292–295. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1969.01340090068008
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