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International Journal of Emergency Medicine

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 399–407

First Online: 27 August 2010Received: 26 April 2010Accepted: 30 June 2010


BackgroundAs millions of emergency department ED visits each year include wound care, emergency care providers must remain experts in acute wound management. The variety of acute wounds presenting to the ED challenge the physician to select the most appropriate management to facilitate healing. A complete wound history along with anatomic and specific medical considerations for each patient provides the basis of decision making for wound management. It is essential to apply an evidence‐based approach and consider each wound individually in order to create the optimal conditions for wound healing.

AimsA comprehensive evidence‐based approach to acute wound management is an essential skill set for any emergency physician or acute care practitioner. This review provides an overview of current evidence and addresses frequent pitfalls.

MethodsA systematic review of the literature for acute wound management was performed.

ResultsA structured MEDLINE search was performed regarding acute wound management including established wound care guidelines. The data obtained provided the framework for evidence‐based recommendations and current best practices for wound care.

ConclusionAcute wound management varies based on the wound location and characteristics. No single approach can be applied to all wounds; however, a systematic approach to acute wound care integrated with current best practices provides the framework for exceptional wound management.

KeywordsAcute tissue injury Wound assessment Wound irrigation Wound closure Assessment Cleansing Closure Irrigation Wound The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and not those of the editors, editorial board or publisher.

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Autor: Bret A. Nicks - Elizabeth A. Ayello - Kevin Woo - Diane Nitzki-George - R. Gary Sibbald


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