All traumatic wounds are contaminated to some degree by both soil and bacteria. Specific infection potentiating factors in soil impair the defenses of the tissue and invite infection. These factors are small in size and resist removal by low pressure irrigation. The efficiency of wound irrigation is markedly improved by delivering the irrigant to the wound under continuous high pressure. Irrigation of the wound with saline solution delivered at 15 pounds per square inch removed 84.8 per cent of the soil infection potentiating factors from the wound. The residual infection potentiating factors remaining in the wound did not significantly impair tissue defenses. On the basis of these experimental studies, clinical studies are now being initiated to test the therapeutic value of high pressure irrigation in traumatic wounds in humans.