Alternative MedicinesInfectionInjuries
   Arm or Leg Fractures
   Blunt Chest Injuries
   Blunt and Penetrating Abdominal Injuries
   Cerebral Contusion
   Cold Injuries
   Decompression Sickness
   Dislocated or Fractured Jaw
   Dislocations and Subluxations
   Electric Shock
   Fractured Nose
   Heat Syndrome
   Insect Bites and Stings
   Near Drowning
   Open Trauma Wounds
   Penetrating Chest Wounds
   Perforated Eardrum
   Poisonous Snakebites
   Radiation Exposure
   Rape Trauma Syndrome
   Skull Fractures
   Spinal Injuries
   Sprains and Strains
   Traumatic Amputation
   Whiplash Injuries

Open Trauma Wounds

Open trauma wounds include abrasions, lacerations, avulsions, crush wounds, puncture wounds, and missile injuries resulting from accidental injury or acts of violence.


Most commonly, open wounds result from an accidental injury at home or work or from a motor vehicle crash. Other open wounds, such as stab and gunshot wounds, may be intentionally inflicted by the victim or by someone else. Open wounds occasionally are self-inflicted by patients with psychiatric disorders or suicidal ideations.


For all types of traumatic wounds, treatment includes stabilizing the airway and immobilizing the victim if you suspect spinal injuries. I.V. lines are established and the patient should be treated for hypovolemic shock if present. When airway, breathing, and circulation are stable, apply direct pressure to obvious bleeding (especially arterial bleeding).

The patient should be evaluated neurologically and other major trauma evaluated. When the patient is stable, the wounds are evaluated and treated according to type. Thorough cleaning and irrigation of the affected area and administration of tetanus prophylaxis may be indicated.

Small avulsions require a nonadhesive pressure dressing. Larger avulsed areas may be repaired by reattaching the avulsed tissue or by split-thickness grafting.

Grossly contaminated lacerations require treatment with a broad-spectrum antibiotic. Lacerations are closed by suture or Steri-Strips. Crush and puncture wounds may require surgery, debridement, and repair.

Missile injuries and some puncture wounds require stabilization of life-threatening insults. Endotracheal intubation, volume replacement (with lactated Ringer's solution), and surgery may be necessary.

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