In human adults, the wound repair process commonly leads to a non-functioning mass of fibrotic tissue known as a scar. By contrast, early in gestation, injured fetal tissues can be completely recreated, without fibrosis, in a process resembling regeneration. Some organisms, however, retain the ability to regenerate tissue throughout adult life. Knowledge gained from studying such organisms might help to unlock latent regenerative pathways in humans, which would change medical practice as much as the introduction of antibiotics did in the twentieth century.
Best practice and wound healing
Wound healing is a science, but due to the complex nature of the patient it is also an art. The care required to support wound healing needs to be guided by both the available evidence and clinical judgment. Clinical decision-making also involves considering patient preferences, circumstances, values and rights.
Once the clinical problem has been identified and a wound-healing outcome determined, there are 3 key steps:
1. Identify the best evidence available for treatment.
2. Evaluate the client, patient or resident risk factors.
3. Recognize limitations in: available resources; staff and human resources; equipment and supplies; and assessment tools and techniques.