Podcast 841: History of Wound Care - The Emergency Medical Minute

Podcast 841: History of Wound Care

Contributor: Aaron Lessen, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Through world history, there have been various interesting approaches to wound care
  • Ancient Egyptians applied honey, lint, and grease which provided properties of being antimicrobial, absorption and moisturization, respectively 
  • Ancient Greeks irrigated wounds with clean water and applied wine and vinegar 
  • One of the first synthetic topical antimicrobials was a dye researched by scientist Gerhard Domagk and later produced by Bayer under the name Prontosil 
  • Some current wound care methods include wet-to-dry dressings, Dankin’s Solution (sodium hypochlorite) and the use of maggots   


Fleck CA. Why “wet to dry”?. J Am Col Certif Wound Spec. 2009;1(4):109-113. Published 2009 Oct 6. doi:10.1016/j.jcws.2009.09.003

Shah JB. The history of wound care. J Am Col Certif Wound Spec. 2011;3(3):65-66. doi:10.1016/j.jcws.2012.04.002

Ueno CM, Mullens CL, Luh JH, Wooden WA. Historical review of Dakin’s solution applications. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2018;71(9):e49-e55. doi:10.1016/j.bjps.2018.05.023

Summarized by Kirsten Hughes, MS4 | Edited by John Spartz, MD, & Erik Verzemnieks, MD


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