More and more the trend of modern surgical thought is away from the paths of anatomy and pathology into physiology and the more complicated fields of biology and biochemistry. This tendency may be observed in modern research into the fields of infective and suppurative processes. An infected wound is viewed first from the point of view of biologic processes taking place in the infected area itself, and secondly as to the effects resulting from the reaction of the organism as a whole on the local process.
Normal life is expressed in a definite reaction which is neutral or slightly alkaline, expressed in hydrogen ion concentration as pH = 7.0 to 7.35. The normal metabolism of tissue cells gives rise to acidity. This acidity is at once neutralized by substances within the tissues and particularly by substances contained in the circulating blood and constituting the so-called alkali reserve. The metabolism of