Immobilize the injured joint with some type of splint or with a snugly fitting adhesive or elastic bandage.
Remember that the injured part may continue to swell, so a bandage that is loose enough when applied may soon become too tight.
Elevate the injured part, if possible. This helps reduce the pain and swelling.
It is difficult to tell a sprain from a fracture.
If you are not sure which injury is present, always treat it as a fracture until the casualty has been brought under the care of a medical officer.
- An injury caused by the forcible overstretching or tearing of a muscle or tendon is known as a
strain. Strains may be caused by lifting excessively heavy loads, by sudden movements, or by any other action that pulls the muscles beyond their normal limits.
The chief symptoms of a strain are pain, lameness, stiffness (sometimes involving knotting of the muscles), moderate swelling at the place of injury, and discoloration because of escape of blood from the injured blood vessel into the tissue.
Have the patient rest the injured part. If the injured muscle is in the arm or leg, elevate the part.
Wounds may be classified according to their general condition, size, location, the manner in which the skin or tissue is broken, and the agent that caused the wound.
You must usually consider some or all of these factors to determine what emergency treatment is necessary for a wound.
There are six types of wounds: abrasion, incision, laceration, puncture, avulsion, and amputation.
ABRASIONS. - Abrasions are made when the skin is rubbed or scraped off. Rope burns, floor burns, and skinned knees or elbows are common examples of abrasions.
This kind of wound is easily infected because dirt and germs are usually ground into tissues. There is usually minimal bleeding or an oozing of clear fluid.
INCISIONS. - Incisions, commonly called cuts, are wounds made by sharp cutting instruments such as knives, razors, or broken glass.
Incisions tend to bleed freely because the blood vessels are cut straight across. There is relatively little damage to surrounding tissues.
Of all the classes of wounds, incisions are the least likely to become infected, because the free flow of blood washes the wound.
LACERATIONS. - These wounds are wounds that are torn, rather than cut. They have ragged, irregular edges and masses of torn tissue underneath.
These wounds are usually made by blunt force, rather than sharp objects. They are often complicated by crushing of the tissues as well. Because lacerations are frequently contaminated with dirt, grease, or other material that is ground into the tissues, they are very likely to become infected.
PUNCTURES. - Punctures are caused by objects that penetrate deeply into the tissues but leave a relatively small surface opening.
Wounds made by nails, needles, wire, knives, and bullets are usually punctures.
A puncture wound can be classified as penetrating or perforating. A perforation differs from a penetration in that it has an exit as well as an entrance site.
As a rule, small punctures do not bleed freely. But, large puncture wounds may cause severe internal bleeding.
The possibility of infection is great in all puncture wounds.
AVULSIONS. - An avulsion is the tearing away of tissue from a body part. Bleeding is usually heavy.
The torn tissue may be surgically reattached in certain situations. It can be saved for medical evaluation by wrapping in cool, moist toweling and rushing it, along with the victim, to a medical facility.
AMPUTATIONS. - A traumatic amputation is the nonsurgical removal of a limb. Bleeding is heavy and requires a tourniquet. Shock is certain to develop.
The limb can often be successfully reattached. Wrap the limb in a cool, moist towel and transport to medical as soon as possible.
- Head wounds can be open or closed. In open head wounds, there is an obvious injury. Closed head wounds may not be obvious, so you may have to base treatment on the history of how the accident happened.
You may see only the delayed symptoms, such as a seizure, disorientation, or drastic personality changes.
In all injuries to the skull, check for these signs of an injury to the brain:
Unequal size of the pupils
Deformity of the skull
Blood or sticky fluid coming from the ears and nose
Any time there is blunt trauma to the skull, keep the casualty's neck immobilized in case there is damage to the spine or the neck area.< Continue Reading