Page:Wound infections and some new methods for the study of the various factors which come into consideration in their treatment.djvu/19

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BIOLOGICAL EVOLUTION

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—I mean procedures such as the opening and draining of the wound—which bring the antibacterial powers of the blood to bear on the infecting microbes. And lastly would come the reinforcement of the antibacterial powers of the blood, that is, treatment by vaccine therapy and similar methods. I believe it is really above all question that of these three the second is beyond all comparison the most important, and I would submit that—all loud talk about it notwithstanding—antiseptic treatment is at best an ancillary method of treatment. And of course the same applies also to treatment by vaccines.

Let me also here suggest to you another quite fundamental consideration. It is this: It will be clear that we cannot apply physiological treatment aright, nor can we use any antiseptic or vaccine to best advantage in wound infections, unless we first understand the physiological processes going on in the wound. We do not yet understand these even in outline.

It will therefore be necessary to address ourselves to the task of discovering what goes on in the wound and of following up its biological evolution. And the only way of doing this will be to formulate to ourselves in clear terms the questions which want answers; then to consider how to set to