Treating Open Trauma Wounds
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Treating Open Trauma Wounds

Open trauma wounds are common injuries that often result from accidents in the home, at work and in automobile crashes. In all cases of open trauma wounds certain information should be assessed as quickly as possible.

Abrasions, avulsions, crush wounds, lacerations, and punctures are all types of open trauma wounds. Open trauma wounds are common injuries that often result from accidents in the home, at work and in automobile crashes. In all cases of open trauma wounds certain information should be assessed as quickly as possible. This assessment includes the following: extent of injury, vital signs, level of consciousness and bone and nerve damage. If bleeding occurs, it must be stopped by applying direct pressure on the wound and on arterial pressure points if necessary. A tourniquet must not be applied except in life-threatening circumstances as it could lead to loss of the limb.

Abrasions are open surface wounds like scrapes. These should be cleansed very gently with a germicide and dressed with a loose covering that allows air to circulate. Scrubbing to clean an abrasion will only result in more tissue damage and should be avoided.

Avulsions are complete tissue loss, like a finger tip, ear or other body part. Recording the time of the injury will help in determining if the recovered part can be reattached. Try to control hemorrhaging with pressure and preserve detached part in a cold saline solution.

Crush wounds are caused by heavy falling objects which sometimes split the skin and can look like lacerations. Apply dry sterile bulky dressing and get as complete a history as possible while having the patient remain calm and relaxed. Check vitals frequently and monitor for shock and pain.

Puncture wounds are small entry wounds resulting from sharp pointed objects and which might have damaged underlying structures. Obtain a history of the injury including the force of the entry. Leave impaling objects in place until injury is completely evaluated. Leave human bite wounds open and apply dry sterile dressings to other minor puncture wounds.

Lacerations are open wounds, often deep, resulting from a knife or other sharp object or from a severe blow from a blunt object. In lacerations less than eight hours old apply pressure and elevate injured area to control bleeding. Cleanse wound gently with soap and water; irrigating with normal saline solution. In la creation more than eight hours old or if wound is grossly contaminated, administer antibiotic. Leave wound open for several days. Elevate injured area for 24 hours to reduce swelling. Keep injury clean and dry and watch for signs of infection.

In missile injuries, such as a gunshot wound, locate entry and exit wounds. Treat for hemorrhaging, pain and shock. Try to assess extent of injury and extent of blood loss. Control bleeding with direct pressure. Maintain airway and check vital signs often. If damage is minor cleanse wound and cover with dry sterile dressing.

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Comments (7)
Ranked #3 in First Aid & CPR

Very useful article.

Very informative and useful.

Thanks for the info...

Very important first aid tips here my friend. An excellent guide in an emergency.

These are useful emergency measures.

I'm glad you mention the caution about the tourniquet. They always do that in movie and TV westerns, thus giving people the wrong idea. Of course, they also cut into a snakebite wound and try to suck out the venom, which we now know is ridiculous.

I agree with Patrick. Thanks