Trauma part 2: Non-ballistic trauma
In the second article in our series on trauma, Omar Mukhtar and Kirsten Jones explain how to assess and manage mechanical injuries to the skin caused by objects other than bullets
- By: Omar Mukhtar, Kirsten Jones
The human body can endure a vast array of insults and injuries that are only sustained when excessive force is applied to it. Causes may be physical, chemical (such as poisons) or mechanical. We focus on mechanical injuries to the skin which are classically divided into those caused by a blunt force and those caused by a sharp force.
Injuries from blunt forces (abrasions, bruises, and lacerations) happen in two different ways; application of a force to the body by a blunt instrument or contact between the body and a surface--for example, a wall or the ground.
Abrasions--An abrasion (graze or scratch) is a superficial injury to the skin in which the epidermis is removed by friction. Examples include fingernail scratches, imprints caused by car tyres, or grazing caused by dragging a body over a rough surface.
Bruises--A bruise (contusion) is a blunt force injury that occurs when blood vessels