Soft Tissue Trauma | Basics

Soft Tissue Trauma
Injuries to skin and surrounding structures. Treatment: control bleeding and combat shock/hypoxemia
Closed wounds:

  • Contusion: bruising below dermis cause by blunt trauma
  • Hematoma: swelling caused by leaking blood vessels below the dermis
  • Crush injuries: blood vessel injury and internal organ rupture. Symptoms pain, paresis, parethesia, pallor, pulselessness (late)
  • Crush syndrome prolonged compression – beyond 4-6 hours
  • Compartment Syndrome: surgical emergency, bleeding and swelling in a closed area compromise circulation and cause tissue ischemia

Open Wounds

  • Abrasions: outermost layer rubbed off, road rash, treatment: clean remove contaminants
  • Lacerations: tear, split or incision treatment: control bleeding, monitor for shock
  • Punctures: sharp, pointed objects damage tissues, internal organs, treatment: control bleeding, monitor for shock
  • Avulsions: loss of full thickness of skin, treatment: cleanse area, return skin to normal position, control bleeding, bulky dressing
  • Amputations: partial or complete loss of limb. Major bleeding can be fatal.
  • Treatment: control bleeding and save amputated part in a sterile dressing >>plastic bag >>ice. Don’t hold transport to look for part.


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