Inflammation the first phase, is the body’s natural response to injury. After being wounded, the blood vessels in the wound bed contract and a clot is formed. Once haemostasis has been achieved, blood vessels then dilate to allow antibodies, white blood cells, growth factors, enzymes and nutrients to reach the wounded area. This leads to a rise in exudate levels so the surrounding skin needs to be monitored for signs of maceration. It is at this stage that the characteristic signs of inflammation can be seen; erythema, heat, oedema, pain and functional disturbance. The predominant cells at work here are the phagocytic cells; ‘neutrophils and macrophages’; mounting a host response and autolysing any devitalised ‘necrotic / sloughy’ tissue.