Management of Injuries . Cuts and lacerations are classified as open wounds and generally involve bleeding . A cut is caused by something sharp, such as a knife or piece of glass coming into contact with the skin. A laceration is a tear injury of the skin
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Cuts and lacerations are classified as open wounds and generally involve bleeding. A cut is caused by something sharp, such as a knife or piece of glass coming into contact with the skin. A laceration is a tear injury of the skin
and is caused by something jagged like barbed wire or machinery. Cuts and lacerations can cause injury to the skin and underlying tissues.
A break to any part of a bone is known as a fracture. Fractures can be caused by either direct or indirect force. For example, a snowboarder falls over and extends their arm to break the fall and, as a result, breaks their collarbone (indirect) or a batter in softball misses the ball, which then hits their arm, breaking the radius (direct). Fractures can be classified in the following ways:
complete—the bone is broken completely into two or more
Parts incomplete—the bone bends and splinters on one side but
does not break right through (also known as a greenstick
fracture and very common in children) comminuted—the bone is
broken into many pieces closed—the broken bone does not pierce the skin open—the broken bone protrudes though the skin
complicated—when the broken bone damages a major nerve, organ or blood vessel, for example, a broken rib punctures a lung.
A dislocation can occur when extreme force is placed on the ligaments around a joint, causing the ends of the two connected bones of the joint to separate. Dislocations are extremely painful and can result in damage to the surrounding ligaments, tissues, nerves and blood vessels.
Head injury refers to trauma to the head, which can be the result of a number of factors including car accidents, falls, sporting collisions or assaults. Many superficial head injuries may bleed profusely due to the scalp being rich with blood vessels, but tend not to be dangerous. Internal head injuries, however, may lead to death or permanent brain damage and, therefore, require urgent medical attention. Concussion is a temporary loss or altered state of consciousness, which can occur following a blow to the head. Concussion should also be treated seriously, as there may be the possibility of internal damage. Although someone who has experienced concussion may seem to recover quickly, they should be monitored carefully for some time after the concussion.
The eye is a very delicate part of the body and, because of its nature, it is very easily damaged. Eye injuries can range from minor irritations such as dirt, eyelashes or small foreign objects in the eye to more major issues such as penetrating eye injuries and burns. Eye injuries can cause damage to the cornea of the eye, which may affect sight, and corneal injuries are very prone
to infection. The risk of infection when treating eye injuries can be reduced by wearing gloves and using sterile dressings.
Nasal injuries are quite common, as the nose has very little structural support and occupies a very prominent place on the face. The most typical nasal injury is a blockage, which is usually caused by young children putting foreign objects into their nose and which can then become lodged there causing discomfort, pain and breathing difficulty. Removal of these objects requires expert medical attention. Other common nasal injuries are bleeding and broken noses. As the nose is close to other important structures, initially any nose injury should be treated as a head injury and a search made for any other facial damage.
Burns are common injuries and can be caused by an array of substances and external sources such as chemicals, friction, electricity, radiation, water, steam, and extreme hot and cold temperatures. The severity of a burn depends upon its extent, which parts of the body are burnt, the burn’s depth and the age of the patient. If a burn is larger than a 20-cent piece, it will generally require medical attention. Severe burns can result in a number of
complications such as shock, infection, breathing difficulties and swelling that may cut off circulation.
Burns are classified according to the depth of the burn and the tissues affected.
Superficial burns—damage to the top layer of skin, for example, sunburn. The burn site will be red and painful.
Partial thickness burns—damage to the first and second skin layers plus the underlying tissues. The burn site is very painful and will be red, blistered, peeling and swollen. There may be clear or yellow fluid leaking from the site.
Full thickness burns—damage to the first and second layers of skin plus underlying tissues, muscle, bone and organs. The burn site is white or charred and there may be exposed fatty tissue, muscle or bone. As the nerve endings are generally destroyed, there tends to be little or no pain at the site; however, the surrounding areas may be very painful. The main aims of burn injury management are to stop the burning process, to cool the burn to provide relief and to cover the burn to reduce the risk of infection.
Injuries to teeth are relatively common, particularly in children, teenagers and athletes. Any injuries to the teeth should be referred to a dentist as quickly as possible to increase the chance of any damaged teeth being saved. Teeth injuries from sport can be easily prevented by the use of a well-fitted mouth guard. The first aider should also be alert to possible head injuries that may result from a blow to the mouth.
Electrocution is considered life threatening, as an electric shock can cause the heart to stop and may cause severe burns. Safety of the first aider is paramount in electrocution situations and the first aider should avoid any risk of shock to themself. If this cannot be guaranteed, it is better to wait for emergency services to arrive.
The chest contains the essential organs of the heart, lungs and major blood vessels and, while they are somewhat protected by surrounding bone structures, these organs are very vulnerable. Chest injuries can be caused by blows, falls, crushing, stabbing or shooting and include a range of injuries from simple bruising to damage that affects breathing and circulation. Types of chest injuries
include fractured ribs, flail chest (floating ribs), penetrating chest wounds and lung collapse. Treatment for all chest injuries should focus on seeking medical assistance and on keeping the patient as comfortable as possible.
The abdomen houses a number of important body organs. As there is no protective bone structure around the abdomen, these organs can be easily injured. Complications that may arise with abdominal injuries are extensive internal bleeding and infection, therefore, it is essential with any abdominal injury that urgent medical attention is sought.