Multiple injuries, emergency transport and referral
In the previous sections of this study session, we have described how to treat bleeding, fractures, head and spinal injuries and burns when they occur separately. However, in many accidents or after a violent attack, the patient is often suffering the combined effects of multiple injuries – several injuries at the same time. Knowing that multiple injuries are likely to happen in the same individual helps you to remember that you must not concentrate only on one type of injury – you must focus on all the multiple effects and your first priority is to address whatever is most threatening to their life.
Remember that most health emergencies will require rapid referral to a health facility or hospital. As a health professional, you have an important responsibility in your community to prepare an emergency transport plan, which identifies individuals with vehicles (car, truck, gharry, etc.) who can get injured people to a health facility as quickly as possible. As in all referrals for whatever cause, you must write a clear referral note, describing the patient's name, address, age, etc., the circumstances in which the injury or other emergency occurred, your assessment of their condition and any actions you have taken.