As a general rule, wounds are injuries that occur somewhere on the outer surface of the body. They can also be defined as loss of skin continuity due to an external factor. Depending on the characteristics of the wound, the medical team may choose a procedure to close the wound, or allow the wound to close naturally on its own.
Currently, one of the most commonly used techniques in wound closure is to use surgical suture. However, there are many variations of this method, and the physician must choose the most appropriate one for each patient’s individual wound.
Let us first look at how to classify a wound to find out how it can be treated in the best possible way.
Classification of wounds
The first and most important thing you need to do is examine the wound. See if it is clean or if it has impurities.
On the one hand, recent injuries will be fresh, and not infected or contaminated. On the other hand, dirty wounds will be older, they appear to have more torn tissue and may be contaminated or have foreign bodies in them.
Another way to classify a wound is based on the cause or object that caused the injury (stabbing, fire, etc.).
You can also differentiate them based on how the wound looks, or whether the wound affects other structures in a part of the skin or soft tissue. These are just some of the classifications.
Phases of wound healing
Normally , a wound will follow a growth or healing pattern consisting of the following phases:
- Inflammation (inflammation). This is also called the reaction phase, and will occur during the first few days. When this happens, the blood vessels dilate and the vascular permeability increases. In this way, serous fluid and leukocytes are filtered from a protective layer (crust).
- The reproduction phase. This is also known as the regeneration phase. This phase begins about three days after the injury occurred and ends 1 to 2 weeks later. In this phase , the body begins to produce the collagen that has been lost, and the lymph and blood vessels heal.
- Maturation phase. This is sometimes identified as the “rebuilding phase” of the wound. It starts a few weeks after the injury occurred and can take up to several years. When this phase is over, you will find that the scar after the injury becomes flatter and smaller. Where the wound was, the skin will have a paler color.
How to promote healthy wound closure?
At the emergency room or hospital, a group of specialists can follow the general procedures for treating wounds. In the event of an accident or emergency, a list of priorities should be followed.
First of all, the patient may need to receive some form of anesthesia to reduce the discomfort that can often come with closing wounds. General or local anesthesia will be administered depending on the severity of the injury. To achieve this, the patient will be injected with one or more anesthetics such as lidocaine.
Thereafter, the group of specialists will carefully and cautiously remove any foreign bodies that may have become stuck in the wound, if there are foreign bodies. This is done by using suitable and sterilized tools, such as tweezers and forceps.
Furthermore, the area will be rinsed well with copious amounts of saline solution.
Techniques for wound closure
If necessary, the doctor can use stitches, strips or staples to gather the tissue that has been damaged around the wound. Depending on the extent of the injury, how large or deep it is, the medical team will decide which type of stitch will be most appropriate. Below you can learn more about the different techniques for closing wounds:
- Strips. This consists of a set of sections of strips that are placed near the edge of the wound. Generally, these will fall off naturally within a few days of being placed (especially if they get wet).
- Founder. These are small metal wires that come in the form of a clip that holds the edges of the wound together, to promote healing and regeneration of tissue. They must be removed using a special medical tool.
- Sutur. There is a wide variety of different types of stitches and threads that specialists can use. The type of stitch and thread the doctor chooses will depend on where the wound is and what kind of tissue to sew in. A needle is used to sew the entire length of the wound.
Finally, it is very important to see a doctor as soon as possible to get the best treatment. This will ensure that you get tailored treatment for your case, and a healthy healing of the wound without complications.