What is an open infection

Wound infections

Infections are the most common and most serious cause of impaired wound healing.

Wound infections inhibit the healing process and can cause serious complications, such as blood poisoning. It is therefore important to identify and treat infections as early as possible.

++ More on the topic: Blood poisoning ++

Whether a wound infection occurs depends on the one hand on the number of germs and the type of pathogen and on the other hand on the general condition of the person affected.

Indications of wound infection

There are signs of infection directly in the wound area

  • Redness
  • swelling
  • overheat
  • Pain in the wound area
  • Presence of pus
  • Function restriction

Other signs that could suggest infection are

  • fever
  • chills
  • slowed wound healing
  • foul sore odor
  • Pocket formation at the bottom of the wound
  • Discoloration of the wound (a greenish color indicates a Pseudomonas infection)
  • increasing pain
  • very sensitive and temporarily developing soft and reddish tissue that begins to bleed easily (granulation tissue). However, the formation of granulation tissue can also be a good sign that the wound is healing.

Diagnosis of wound infection

After a blood sample, the doctor will also receive information about a wound infection from the following changes in certain blood values:

The presence of dead tissue, accumulations of older blood or tissue fluid as well as foreign bodies in the wound favor the multiplication of the microorganisms and thus the development of an infection.

++ More on the topic: wounds ++

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Helga Quirgst, MSc
Medical review:
Prim. Dr. Boris Todoroff, Primary for Plastic Surgery, Hospital of the Sisters of Charity, Vienna
Editorial editing:
Dr. med. Stefanie Sperlich, Dr. med. Christian Maté

Status of medical information:

Probst W, Vasel beer goose A: wound management. Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, 2nd edition 2010

Voggenreiter G, Dold C (Ed.): Wundtherapie. Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart-New York, 2nd edition 2008