BASIC SCIENCE: Wound Healing
The definition of a wound is a pathological state in which tissue becomes separated, or separated and destroyed. The event results in loss of body substance and an associated function impairment.

The definition of wound healing is the closure of the defect by scar-forming supporting tissue. The process is epithelial regeneration which restores the form and functions of the damaged area. All body tissue except for the teeth can heal wounds.

The initial response is vascular. A fresh wound bleeds. Damaged vessels undergo physiological changes. This vascular response involves the following events:

  1. Vasoconstriction
  2. Vasodilation
  3. Increased Vessel Wall Permeability

    Blood flow pushing away debris

    Bleeding in a fresh wound cleanses the site. The leaking blood washes away some of the invading foreign material.

    Blood platelets release thromboxan A2, causing vasoconstriction.

    Platelets adhering to vessel wall

    clotted vessel

    During vasoconstriction, vessels turn inward and narrow. Lasting only a few minutes, vasoconstriction lasts long enough for blood clots to seal the leaking blood.

Go to Wound Healing: Vascular Response page 2next

Home | Welcome | Clinical Update | Managing Your Residency
Board Review | Opportunities | Links | Contributors | Contact Us