Infected Wounds can be obtained if microorganisms from the external environment get into any injuries, even in minor abrasions on the arm, on the leg or another part of the body. Treatment of an infected wound can be delayed due to complications. If injuries occur at the time of their receipt, then this is the primary infection.
Microbes can get into the wound surface from clothes, the skin around the wound, the object, which was damaged. If the infection gets into the wound later, for example, with a bandage, then this is a secondary infection. Whatever the cause of infection of the wound with microbes or bacteria, this can lead to complications such as the decay of surrounding tissues, infection of the blood (sepsis), which is life-threatening, gangrene, in which often it is necessary to amputate a limb where there are infected wounds.
During any illness, wounds are more likely to be infected than a healthy person, since the overall immunity is weakened. The very first sign that the wound is infected is the separation of purulent exudate. The pus has a gray color and unpleasant odor, it is also thicker than the lymph that drains from the wound and forms a crust. In addition to the presence of pus, the wound in which the infection has fallen has the following symptoms:
- Painful sensations of a pulsating and noisy character that spread to neighboring tissues. For example, if the wound appeared on the heel, the whole surface of the foot can hurt.
- Infected skin lesions are characterized by edema. The swelling can spread ten centimeters around the wound. If, after infection, the finger is swollen, swelling in severe cases can reach the wrist joint.
- Around the wound there is an erythema, extending far beyond its limits. In a normal wound, in which pathogenic microbes did not hit, reddening does not form or is present in an insignificant measure at the very center of the lesion.
- Infected injuries are very long drawn out and can rot for several months if a person does not seek medical help.
- There is local hyperemia. If the total body temperature has risen in case of infection, this is a sign of intoxication, which means that the spread of the infection has spread throughout the body.
In addition to swelling, redness, and pain, weakness, dizziness, nausea may occur, which also indicates intoxication. The most dangerous are the first six to eight hours after the infection hit the wound. If during this period the organism has favorable conditions for bacterial multiplication, a severe purulent infection can develop, on which the body reacts with swelling, phlegmon, fever, and changes in the clinical indications of the blood test. Such a wound will not last long without special treatment.
The most dangerous complication of purulent infections is the development of sepsis. In this case, the microbes in the wound surface enter the bloodstream and begin to spread throughout the body, poisoning it with toxins. Sepsis begins to leak when the immunity of a person does not cope with his protective task, or because a person for a long time does not cure a festering wound.
The incubation period of sepsis can vary from a couple of days to a couple of months, the disease itself can be subacute, acute, and also chronic. If this complication is difficult, the patient may die in two days or two weeks. In subacute sepsis, a person who does not receive treatment dies in the period from two weeks to two months, and in chronic cases, death may occur in two to four months.
In the acute course of sepsis, the following symptoms occur:
- high body temperature;
- weak heartbeat;
- presence of tachycardia;
- lowering blood pressure;
- the occurrence of anemia;
- development of leukocytosis.
The wound surface is dry at the same time, white granulation is present, slight bleeding and the appearance of white plaque are possible. If the victim develops sepsis, then urgent surgical intervention is necessary, which can prevent a fatal outcome.
The second most dangerous complication is gangrene, during which necrotic changes begin in the tissues. Necrosis leads to an even greater development of the infectious process, the skin, muscles, nerves, and vessels begin to decay and decompose. Sometimes, in order to save the life of the patient, it is necessary to completely amputate the affected limb. If the wound is not located on the leg or arm, internal organs can be affected, which can also be dangerous for human life.