Summary

In this study session you have learned that:

  1. Injury due to accidents and violence is a common cause of emergency conditions which threaten life, limb and eyesight; it is a common problem globally and at national level.
  2. The effect of an injury is not limited to immediate life-threatening emergency conditions; it can persist way beyond the immediate injury period in the form of profound economic, mental health and behavioural problems.
  3. Violent assaults such as rape can lead to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unwanted pregnancies
  4. Injury often results in life-threatening internal or external bleeding. Try to stop external bleeding with pressure and bandages. Start pre-referral IV fluid therapy in cases of shock.
  5. Fractures (open or closed), head and spinal injuries must be attended to urgently in order to prevent loss of limbs, paralysis and permanent disability. Immobilisation of the injured part during transport to a health facility is essential life-supportive care.
  6. Flame, hot fluid, chemicals and electricity are the common causes of first, second or third degree burns, depending on the depth of skin and soft tissue affected. Flushing a burn with cold water is an important element of first aid care in order to minimise the extent of damage and reduce pain.
  7. Remember to develop an emergency transport plan to get an injured person to a health facility or hospital quickly. Write a clear referral note with all the patient’s details, your assessment of the injury and any actions you have taken.
Last modified: Friday, 4 July 2014, 9:30 AM