SOFT-TISSUE INJURIES

 

Soft-tissue injury:  Any trauma or injury to the tissues of the body, including the skin, muscles, fatty tissue or blood vessels.

 

There are 5 types of soft-tissue injuries that you may see:  Amputation, Puncture, Avulsion, Laceration or Abrasion.

 

 

Amputation

 Amputation:  The separation of an extremity from the body.

 There may or may not be bleeding with an amputation depending upon how the part was severed.

 

WHAT TO LOOK FOR:

      Severed limb or other body part.

      Signs of shock

      Bleeding

 

TREATMENT

      CALL 911

      Assess ABCs.

      Control any bleeding.

      Treat for shock.

      If you can find the amputated part, wrap it up in dry sterile gauze and place in a plastic bag.

      Place the bag into another bag with ice.  You want to keep the part cool but do not want to freeze it.

 

 

Puncture Wounds

 

Puncture Wound:  A wound caused by a pointed object that enters the body.

 

Always be aware that a puncture wound can cause significant damage internally that you cannot see.  You must assume that there is internal bleeding even if you cannot see it.  Puncture wounds include injuries such as gunshot wounds, stabbings, glass, wood, or any other object that can penetrate the skin.  Always look for an exit wound with puncture type injuries; you may have two wounds that need attention.

 

Impaled Objects

 

Impaled Object:  Any object protruding from the body.

 

Remember that an impaled object is a type of puncture wound.  There may be additional damage that has been done on the inside of the body that you may not be able to see.  Be prepared to treat this patient for shock.

  

WHAT TO LOOK FOR:

      Any object protruding from the body.

      Bleeding

      Signs of shock

      Multiple open wounds

 

TREATMENT

      CALL 911

      Assess ABCs

      NEVER remove the impaled object.  (If the impaled object is in the cheek and is obstructing the airway, it may be removed but this is the only instance you would remove an impaled object)

      Stabilize the impaled object and control any bleeding

      Treat for shock.

 

 Avulsions

 

Avulsion:  the tearing of the skin so that the skin is either torn away or left as a loose flap of skin.

 

 

TREATMENT

      CALL 911

      Assess ABCs

      Replace the flap of skin over the site

and dress with dry, sterile bandages.

      Control bleeding.

      Treat for shock.

 

 

Laceration

 

Laceration:  a cut caused by a sharp object.

 

TREATMENT

      If there is severe uncontrolled bleeding, CALL 911 right away.

      Follow treatment guidelines for controlling bleeding.

 

 

Abrasion

 

Abrasion:  minor scrapes and scratches.

 

This type of injury is usually more painful than dangerous.  It occurs when some of the layers of the skin have been rubbed off or scratched.  It is commonly seen in bicycle or motorcycle accidents when the rider hits the pavement.  The biggest complication from this injury is possible infection if the wound is not cleaned properly.