Break in any body tissue due to external action (including surgery). It may be closed (blunt trauma) or open (penetrating trauma). Blood vessels, nerves, muscles, bones, joints, and internal organs may be damaged. A closed wound can be caused by impact, twisting, bending, or deceleration (as in a car crash). It can range from a minor bruise or sprain to a skull fracture with brain damage or a spinal-cord injury with paralysis. In an open wound, foreign matter such as bacteria, dirt, and clothing fragments entering through broken skin or mucous membrane may result in infection. Other factors affecting severity include depth, surface area, degree of tearing, and structures damaged. Minor wounds need only first aid. For others, after examination and perhaps diagnostic imaging and exploratory surgery, treatment may include fluid replacement or drainage, sterilization and antibiotics, tetanus antitoxin, and repair of damaged structures. A closed wound may need to be opened or an open one sutured closed. Seealso burn, coagulation, crush injury, dislocation, scar.
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In medicine, a wound is a type of injury in which the skin is torn, cut or punctured (an open wound), or where blunt force trauma causes a contusion (a closed wound). In pathology, it specifically refers to a sharp injury which damages the dermis of the skin.
In a medical context, stab wounds and gunshot wounds are considered major wounds.
From the Classical Period to the Medieval Period, the body and the soul were believed to be intimately connected, based on several theories put forth by the philosopher Plato. Wounds on the body were believed to correlate with wounds to the soul and vice versa; wounds were seen as an outward sign of an inward illness. Thus, a man who was wounded physically in a serious way was said to be hindered not only physically but spiritually as well. If the soul was wounded, that wound may also eventually become physically manifest, revealing the true state of the soul. Wounds were also seen as writing on the "tablet" of the body. Wounds gotten in war, for example, told the story of a soldier in a form which all could see and understand, and the wounds of a martyr told the story of their faith.