Trauma surgery: Back to basics
Trauma fascinates many medical students, but to handle acute emergencies it is necessary to follow the principles of the primary and secondary survey. In the first part of a new series, Omar Mukhtar and Kirsten Jones go back to basics
- By: Omar Mukhtar, Kirsten Jones
Gunshot wounds, stabbings, and burns are disturbing but common events that many doctors deal with the world over. Although Hollywood might depict these injuries as glamorous, reality is different and often distressing. In this series we will cover non-ballistic and ballistic trauma, as well as burns. A sound understanding of resuscitation is necessary in all of these situations, which we take you through in this first article.
The principle of doing no harm should not be taken lightly. Although aggressive interventions may be needed during the resuscitation and evaluation of an acutely injured patient, a patient is most vulnerable during this time. Thus, it is important to use a systematic method of examination and treatment to ensure that life threatening injuries are quickly identified; other significant injuries also need to be treated before they cause additional problems. The standard approach consists of primary survey, resuscitation, detailed secondary survey, and initiation