Wounds, Open Trauma
Open trauma wounds (abrasions, avulsions, crush wounds, lacerations, missile injuries, and punctures) are injuries that commonly result from home, work, or motor vehicle accidents and from acts of violence.
Signs and symptoms
In all open wounds, assess the extent of injury, vital signs, level of consciousness (LOC), obvious skeletal damage, local neurologic deficits, and general patient condition. Obtain an accurate history of the injury from the patient or witnesses, including such details as the mechanism and time of injury and any treatment already provided. If the injury involved a weapon, notify the police.
Also assess for peripheral nerve damage-a common complication in lacerations and other open trauma wounds, as well as for fractures and dislocations. Signs of peripheral nerve damage vary with location as follows:
Most open wounds require emergency treatment. In those with suspected nerve involvement, however, electromyography, nerve conduction, and electrical stimulation tests can provide more detailed information about possible peripheral nerve damage.
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