Ubi pus, ibi evacua & Debridement

Ubi pus, ibi evacua is a Latin aphorism or adage, often cited [1] in medicine, meaning “where [there is] pus, there evacuate [it]”. It refers to what clinicians should do when there is a collection of pus in the body; that is, to create an opening for it to evacuate. A contemporary expression of the same sentiment is also used: “if there’s pus about, let it out”.

Examples include what an otorhinolaryngologist will often do in case of a child with chronic recurring otitis media: Insert a grommet in the eardrum to help evacuate the excess fluid within. Antibiotics often have difficulties getting into an abscess, and do not work well because of a low pH; evacuation through a drainage-channel, on the other hand, will remove a large number of bacteria and thus greatly aid the resolution of the infection.

Debridement is the medical removal of dead, damaged, or infected tissue to improve the healing potential of the remaining healthy tissue.[2] Removal may be surgical, mechanical, chemical, autolytic (self-digestion), naturopathic and by maggot therapy.

In oral hygiene and dentistry, debridement refers to the removal of plaque and calculus (tartar) that have accumulated on the teeth.

Debridement in this case may be performed using ultrasonic instruments, which fracture the calculus, thereby facilitating its removal, as well as hand tools, including periodontal scaler and curettes, or through the use of chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide.

In podiatry practitioners such as chiropodists, podiatrists and foot health practitioners remove conditions such as calluses and verrucas.

Debridement is an important part of the healing process for burns and other serious wounds; it is also used for treating some kinds of snake and spider bites.

Sometimes the boundaries of the problem tissue may not be clearly defined. For example, when excising a tumor, there may be micrometastases along the edges of the tumor that are too small to be detected, and if not removed, could cause a relapse. In such circumstances, a surgeon may opt to debride a portion of the surrounding healthy tissue – as little as possible – to ensure that the tumor is completely removed. Holistic oncology can also be considered.

 Text under construction

  1. ^ American Medical Journal, Vol. 6, no. 6, June 18, 1876, p 226.
  2. ^ “debridement”. merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 5 September 2013.and  “Understand Debridement Before You Regret – Why you Need Debridement”. HealthNmedicarE. 2018-03-24. Retrieved 2018-04-08.
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