Page:Wound infections and some new methods for the study of the various factors which come into consideration in their treatment.djvu/18

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there is an obstructed outflow, the infection may go from bad to worse until the patient succumbs to continued suppuration and septicæmia.

Some Fundamental Considerations in regard to Treatment.

Those are, in very brief summary, the facts with regard to the evolution of wound infections, and I would venture, in passing on to discuss with you their treatment, to remind you that the ideal we ought to approximate to is the healing of the wounds by first intention—that is, without sensible interference by bacterial infection; and that so far are we from the attainment of that ideal that nearly all our wounded are suffering from bacterial infections; that very many are ill of these infections; and that not a few are, through these, in danger of their lives.

We have at our disposal for the treatment of these wound infections three distinct therapeutic measures. Let me enumerate them in the order in which they would naturally suggest themselves to you.

First in that serial order would come treatment by antiseptics. After this would come what I propose to call treatment by physiological methods