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Wound management and its history

Take a look into the history of wound management, including some interesting ancient remedies.

In this video Professor Finn Gottrup discusses some terminology related to wound management and shares some of its interesting history.

Did you know?

  1. A clay tablet dating back to 2200 BC is one of the oldest medical manuscripts known to man. It describes washing wounds, making plasters, and bandaging wounds – the three “healing gestures”. Plasters were made from a number of materials – clay or mud, herbs, and plants.

  2. The Egyptians were the first people to use honey in treatment of wounds. They also used it along with grease and lint to make plasters. Lint, made from vegetable fiber, helped remove extra moisture from the wound, and the grease and honey helped in preventing infection. Going another step further, they painted wounds with green paint, to symbolise life. Green paint contains copper, which is toxic to bacteria.

  3. Beer was used in wound care by the Sumerians – they brewed at least 19 different types. An interesting prescription in Mesopotamian culture included these instructions: “Pound together fur-turpentine, pine-turpentine, tamarisk, daisy, flour of inninnu strain; mix in milk and beer in a small copper pan; spread on skin; bind on him, and he shall recover.”

  4. The Greeks were very mindful about cleanliness. They recommended the washing of wounds with boiled water, vinegar, and wine. Hippocrates was known to treat ulcers using wine and then covering them with fig leaves.

In the comments section below, please share any interesting facts about the history of wound management in your country, and don’t forget to have a look at what everyone else has shared as well!

We recommend all practitioners refer to IWII consensus document on identification, management and prevention of wound infection for principles of best practice.
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Antimicrobial Stewardship in Wound Management

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