Surgical excision of dead, devitalized, or contaminated tissue and removal of foreign matter from a wound.

Not a nice experience for either the nurse or the patient. For the patient, feeling someone poke and scrape at a large open wound can be quite nauseating and/or painful. For the nurse, making sure you clean the wound properly without hurting or damaging the patient can be tricky.

Trivia: When I sustained a compound fracture of my left leg a few years back I had to have the wound debrided several times. There was a student nurse looking on; in my morphine induced state of unreality, I decided to have some fun. The wound was deep and exposed tendons, muscles and some bone. I flexed the muscles in my leg a little - The poor student nurse made a nice "eep" noise and fainted dead away. (When you cannot think straight from being drugged, stuff like this is the height of hilarity.

I had no idea that there was a clinical term for this sort of procedure, but if someone were foolish enough to be involved in a motorcycle accident without wearing the correct protective clothing they might be the subject of a particularly unpleasant form of what I suppose would be called debriding.

Basically if the above incident occurs and you suffer a significant amount of gravel rash, then the only way that medical personnel can remove the hundreds of almost-microscopic bits of road now embedded in your flesh is as follows (those of a squeamish disposition may wish to look away now). The nurses basically wash the wound in a mixture of anaesthetic and disinfectant before using a stiff-bristled brush to scrub the grit and dirt from it. Very unpleasant, very painful, and one of the reasons why I would never ride my motorcycle wearing a t-shirt or short trousers.

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