Wounds are mechanical injuries to organic tissues with disruption of the continuity of such structures as skin and mucous membranes. Wounds are characterized by three basic local symptoms: (a) separation of the edges of the wound, which varies with the extent, depth and location of the wound; (b) pain; and (c) bleeding. The last two result from injury to nerves and blood vessels. In addition to causing anatomical and functional disturbances to tissues and organs, some wounds are dangerous because they may lead to acute anaemia or shock as a result of heavy bleeding, or to wound infections, including such anaerobic infections as gangrene and tetanus.
Any structure may be lacerated or bear an open wound, including the head, neck, trunk, eye, ear, heart, lungs, intrathoracic organs, gastro-intestinal tract, liver, spleen, kidney, pelvic organs, and genitals.