Infections have complicated the care of combat casualties throughout history and were at one time considered part of the natural history of combat trauma. Personnel who survived to reach medical care were expected to develop and possibly succumb to infections during their care in military hospitals. Initial care of war wounds continues to focus on rapid surgical care with debridement and irrigation, aimed at preventing local infection and sepsis with bacteria from the environment (e.g., clostridial gangrene) or the casualty's own flora. Over the past 150 years, with the revelation that pathogens can be spread from patient to patient and from healthcare providers to patients (including via unwashed hands of healthcare workers, the hospital environment and fomites), a focus on infection prevention and control aimed at decreasing transmission of pathogens and prevention of these infections has developed. Infections associated with combat-related injuries in the recent operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have predominantly been secondary to multidrug-resistant pathogens, likely acquired within the military healthcare system. These healthcare-associated infections seem to originate throughout the system, from deployed medical treatment facilities through the chain of care outside of the combat zone. Emphasis on infection prevention and control, including hand hygiene, isolation, cohorting, and antibiotic control measures, in deployed medical treatment facilities is essential to reducing these healthcare- associated infections. This review was produced to support the Guidelines for the Prevention of Infections Associated With Combat-Related Injuries: 2011 Update contained in this supplement of Journal of Trauma.
|Journal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
|2 SUPPL. 2
|Published - Aug 2011
- Infection control
- Infection prevention
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine