The Healing Process

When the body is cut, the body starts to repair injuries within the first 24 hours but it is between 48-72 hours and can be up to 21 days when the repair is fully carried out.

The clotting mechanism in the blood, seals the torn blood vessels, so blood plasmas cannot escape into the tissue around the injury. This is important because the blood plasma is needed when moving nutrients around the blood stream and it is needed to transport white blood cells, which, fight infection around the injury so it can continue to repair. Blood clots form when skin breaks and the blood clots to stop the bleeding.

Healing happens in three different mechanisms:

The first is vascular spasm; this is when the smooth muscle in the blood vessel walls contracts as soon as the vessel is broken. This slows the bleeding while the other mechanisms become active.

The next mechanism is platelet pug formation. This is when the blood platelets become sticky and find a damaged vessel and form a type of plug to help close the gap in the broken blood vessel. However, this is only temporary and does not last lost so the third mechanism is needs to stop it completely.

The third mechanism is coagulation. Once the blood comes to the surface and leaves the blood vessels, it thickens and become a texture similar to a gel. This is coagulation. Blood clotting is actually when blood become solid. This happens when the temporary plug needs clotting factors from the blood. This forms a web of fibre and it becomes a clot. Fibrins are a mesh found in the blood and they are a web of clotting factors including enzymes, calcium ions and platelets. Once this has formed there are other cells such as white blood cells which fight infection reinforced the clot so it completely stops the bleeding.

As the healing process begins, the immediate effects of the injury start to feel better.

This healing process is:

· Absorption – of the swelling;

· Removal – of the debris and blood clots also known as the pac-man effect because of the way it removes the waste products;

· Growth – of new blood capillaries to transport blood to the area;

· And finally, development – of initial fibrous scar tissue

After the first 12 hours since the injury occurred and in next 4 days the cells become active and new capillaries blood vessel form. They slowly grow and establish new blood circulation in the area. If this did not happen then the injury would not heal because you must have a blood supply for the repair of the damaged tissue.

As there is new circulation around the area, the blood supply can take away the debris of dead tissue cells and the first blood clot that was formed is cleared. The tissue that was damaged gets repaired by the scar tissue, which is the fibrous scar tissue that is around the injury, not the scars you’d see on the outside of the skin.

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