History of Infections Associated With Combat-Related Injuries

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Despite the innumerable variations in war-making throughout the millennia, wounds have always been characterized by devitalized tissue, the presence of foreign bodies, clots, fluid collection, and contamination by microorganisms. Even in the postantibiotic era, infections of these wounds remain a significant contributor to both morbidity and mortality. Shifts in causal organisms and their resistance profiles continue to challenge each new generation of therapeutics. This article reviews the history of war wound infections, with an emphasis on wound microbiology and combat casualty management during US conflicts from World War I through the end of 20th century.

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