Wound infection is a serious surgical complication that can lead to longer stays in hospital and a greater risk of death. Problems include bacterial contamination of the wound, drying of body tissues and heat loss.
Scientists now suggest that a wound could continuously be flooded with carbon dioxide gas (CO2) during surgery. Carbon dioxide could prevent airborne bacteria from reaching the wound and would also suffocate germs. Humidified CO2 would also keep the wound warm and moist, which should reduce tissue damage and speed-up healing.
CO2 is already used for this purpose in the food packaging business.
Science Daily February 12, 2009