The Metabolic Basis of Wound Healing
From the earliest days man has had an understanding about the mechanisms of wound healing. Although early ideas may have been crude and imprecise, they contained a basic awareness of what may enhance or retard the healing process, without an awareness of the underlying mechanisms. Ambroise Paré (1510–90), the father of modern surgery, who found that watery dressings were kinder to wounds than hot oil, stated many times that ‘Man treats but God cures.’ Although we now understand much of the biochemical and metabolic processes involved in healing, the clinical management of wounds may still be criticised for a lack of scientific basis. This is in part because of incomplete knowledge of the healing process and cellular and metabolic constraints on complete healing, and in part because of the poor quality of clinical measurement of healing to study the validity of competing claims of efficacy.
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