7 Soft Tissue.Splinting

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Soft Tissue Injuries:

Soft Tissue Injuries Musculoskeletal


Burns Burns are a special kind of soft tissue injury. Burns account for about 25 percent of all soft tissue injuries. Burns break the skin and can cause infection, fluid loss and loss of body temperature control. The severity of a burn depends on— The temperature of the source. The length of exposure to the source. The location of the burn. The extent of the burn. The victim’s age and medical condition.

Burns Classified by Source:

Burns Classified by Source Thermal (heat) Chemicals Electricity Radiation

Burns Classified by Depth:

Burns Classified by Depth Deep. Deep burns are further classified into— Partial thickness (second-degree). Full thickness (third-degree). Superficial (first-degree) Superficial (first-degree) burns involve only the top layer of skin. First-degree burns— Appear red and dry. Are usually painful. May swell. Generally heal in 5 to 6 days without permanent scarring.

Second Degree Burns:

Second Degree Burns Partial-thickness burns (second-degree) involve both the epidermis and the dermis. Partial-thickness burns— Appear red. Have blisters that may open and weep clear fluid. May look mottled (blotched). Are usually painful. May swell. Usually heal in 3 or 4 weeks. Scarring may occur.

Third Degree Burns:

Third Degree Burns Full-thickness burns (third-degree) involve all the layers of skin, as well as any or all of the underlying structures—fat, muscles, bones and nerves. Full-thickness burns— Appear brown or charred (black), with the tissues underneath sometimes appearing white. Can either be extremely painful or relatively painless if the burn destroyed nerve endings in the skin. Can be life threatening. Take longer to heal and usually result in scarring.

Critical Burns:

Critical Burns A critical burn requires the attention of a medical professional. Critical burns are potentially life threatening, disfiguring and disabling. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number if the victim— Has trouble breathing. Has burns covering more than one body part or a large surface area. Has suspected burns to the airway. Note burns around the mouth or nose. Has burns to the head, neck, hands, feet or genitals. Has a full-thickness (third-degree) burn and is younger than age 5 or older than age 60. Has burns resulting from chemicals, explosions or electricity.

Care for Burns:

Care for Burns Check the scene for safety. Stop the burning. Check first for life-threatening conditions. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number if burns are suspected to be critical. Cool the burn with large amounts of cold running water until pain is relieved. If possible, remove any jewelry. Cover the burn. Take steps to minimize shock. Comfort and reassure.

Chemical Burn Care:

Chemical Burn Care To care for chemical burns— Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number. Flush the burn with large amounts of cold, running water for at least 20 minutes or until EMS personnel arrive. If the chemical is dry or powdered— Brush the chemical from the skin with a gloved hand. Flush the residue from the skin with clean running tap water. If possible, have the victim remove contaminated clothes. If the chemicals are in the eyes— Flush affected eye with water until EMS personnel arrive. Try to prevent the chemical from getting into an unharmed eye.

Electrical Burns:

Electrical Burns Electrical burns can cause both serious internal and external injuries. Signals of an electrical injury include— Unconsciousness. Dazed, confused behavior. Obvious burns on the skin’s surface. Trouble breathing or no breathing. Burns both where the current entered and where it exited the body, often on the hand or foot.

Electrical Burn Care:

Electrical Burn Care To care for a victim of an electrical burn— Make sure the scene is safe. The source of the electricity must be turned off. Check for other hazards. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately. When the scene is safe, check for life-threatening conditions. Be prepared to give CPR or defibrillation. Look for two burn sites. These are entry and exit wounds indicating where electricity passed through the body. Check for additional injuries, such as fractures. Cover any burn injuries with a dry, sterile dressing. Take steps to minimize shock.

Radiation Burn Care:

Radiation Burn Care To care for a victim of a radiation burn caused by the sun— Cool the burn. Prevent further damage by staying out of the sun or wearing a protective lotion or clothing. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for recommendations on products for sunburn care. Do not break blisters. Intact skin helps prevent infection.

Musculoskeletal Injury:

Musculoskeletal Injury Musculoskeletal injuries are most commonly caused by— Mechanical forms of energy. Heat. Chemicals. Electrical energy. Mechanical energy produces direct, indirect, twisting and contracting forces.

Injuries to Musculoskeletal System:

Injuries to Musculoskeletal System Injuries to the musculoskeletal system can be classified according to the body structures that are damaged. Some injuries may involve more than one structure. Four basic types of musculoskeletal injuries are— Fracture—a break or disruption in bone tissue. Dislocation—a displacement or separation of a bone from its normal position at a joint. Sprain—a partial or complete tearing or stretching of ligaments and other tissues at a joint. Strain—a stretching and tearing of muscle or tendon fibers.

Injuries to Extremities:

Injuries to Extremities Injuries to an extremity — an arm or leg — are quite common. They can range from a simple bruise to a dangerous or severely painful injury, such as a fracture of the femur (thigh bone). The prompt care you give can help prevent further pain, damage and a life-long disability. The extremities consist of— Bones. Soft tissue. Blood vessels. Nerves. An injury can also affect the soft tissue and the musculoskeletal system.

Common Injury Signals:

Common Injury Signals Always suspect a serious injury when any of the following signals are present: Deformity Moderate or severe pain or discomfort, swelling and discoloration Inability to move or use the affected body part Bone fragments protruding from a wound Victim feels bones grating or felt or heard a snap or pop at time of injury Loss of circulation or sensation in an extremity Tingling, cold or bluish color below the site of the injury Cause of the injury that suggests the injury may be severe Severe external bleeding

PowerPoint Presentation:

Upper Extremity Injury Shoulder to Fingers Clavicle Scapula Humerus Radius Ulna Carpals Metacarpals Phalanges Lower Extremity Injury Hips to Toes Pelvis Femur Patella Tibia Fibula Tarsals Metatarsals Phalanges

PowerPoint Presentation:

Signals of a fractured femur include the following: Deformity The injured leg will be noticeably shorter than the non-injured limb. The injured leg may also be turned outward. Severe pain. Inability to move the lower extremity.

Care for Musculoskeletal Injury:

Care for Musculoskeletal Injury Check first for any life-threatening conditions. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number if — The injury involves the head, neck or back. The injury impairs walking or breathing. You see or suspect a fracture or dislocation. You see or suspect multiple musculoskeletal injuries. Check for any non-life-threatening conditions and care for any other injuries.

General Care:

General Care The general care for musculoskeletal injuries includes following RICE: Rest Immobilize Cold Elevate If you are unsure whether the injury is serious, care for it as if it is a serious injury. Take steps to minimize shock. Comfort and reassure the victim.

Upper Extremity Injury Care:

Upper Extremity Injury Care Minimize any movement of the injured part. Control external bleeding with direct pressure. Splint the upper extremity in place. Check for feeling, warmth and color before and after applying a splint. For phalanx injuries, apply a rigid splint Apply ice or a cold pack to the injured area. Elevate whenever possible Take steps to minimize shock.

Lower Extremity Injury Care:

Lower Extremity Injury Care Support or immobilize the thigh in the position found. Control external bleeding with direct pressure. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately. While waiting for EMS personnel to arrive— Immobilize the injured area. Help the victim rest in the most comfortable position. If the victim’s lower extremity is supported by the ground, do not move it. Use rolled towels or blankets to support the leg in the position you found it. Lower extremities may be bound together above and below the site of the injury. Take steps to minimize shock. Keep the person lying down and try to keep him or her calm. Keep the person from becoming chilled or overheated. Monitor breathing and level of consciousness. Note victim’s skin color and temperature.


Splinting The purposes of immobilizing an injury are to— Lessen pain. Prevent further damage to soft tissues. Reduce the risk of serious bleeding. Reduce the possibility of loss of circulation to the injured part. Prevent closed fractures from becoming open fractures. To immobilize an extremity injury, you can use a splint. There are three types of splints: Soft Rigid Anatomic

General Care to Splint:

General Care to Splint Splint only if you can do it without causing more pain and you have to transport the person to seek medical attention. Support the injured part in the position in which you find it. Cover any open wounds with a dressing and bandage. Check the area below the injury site for feeling, warmth and color. Apply the splint to immobilize the joints or bones above and below the injured area. Secure the splint in place. Recheck below the injury site for feeling, warmth and color. Elevate the splinted part.

Splinting (cont.):

Splinting (cont.) After the injury is immobilized, apply ice or a cold pack. Help the victim rest in the most comfortable position. Monitor the victim’s— Level of consciousness. Breathing. Skin color. Temperature. Take steps to minimize shock.



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