Medical wounds

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Abrasions

Also called a “scrape” or “graze wound”.

This is caused by a transverse action of an object against the epidermis (outer layer of the skin). It is by definition, a superficial wound, and does not penetrate below the epidermis.

Treatment

A synthetic pressure bandage may be used to limit bleeding and allow for recovery. Dermal regeneration is recommended after the wound has stopped hemorrhaging.

Avulsion Wound

A type of skin injury involving a penetration deeper than the epidermis, causing a section of the epidermis to become disjointed, and separated from the rest of the epidermal layer. Also known as a “hanging wound”.

Treatment

If not hemorrhaging excessively, the avulsion wound may be sealed by direct dermal Treatment. It is important for field Treatment and first aid procedures to apply direct pressure to the wound, and the hanging tissue must not be removed.

Excoriation

In common with an abrasion, this is caused by mechanical destruction of the skin, such as a puncture wound. It usually affects the epidermis, though not uncommonly excoriation wounds reach to the papillary dermis (the upper layer of the dermis). Excoriation wounds are typically linear, and often describe cases where certain foreign objects (such as a sharp blade) become lodged in the skin.

Treatment

Treatment is consistent with that of an abrasion wound; however, in the case of an object lodged in the skin, it is absolutely critical to prevent motion of the object within the wound in order to limit complications and further injury. No attempt should be made to remove the object outside of a sickbay environment due to unforeseen complications that may arise, such as infection, additional nerve or tissue damage, or profuse bleeding.

Laceration

Irregular wound caused by blunt impact to soft tissue overlying hard tissue or tearing such as in childbirth. In some instances, this can also be used to describe an incision.

Treatment

Generally easy to repair by autosutures or by dermal regeneration in the case of smaller wounds.

Incision

A cut from a sharp object into a body tissue or organ. Incisions may be part of a surgical procedure, or may be the cause of a traumatic contact with a slicing object, such as a knife or sharp metal.

Treatment

Dermal regeneration is effective for mild incisions, autosutures are necessary for deep tissue or large incisions.

Hematoma

Caused by damage to a blood vessel which in turn causes blood to leak out and collect underneath the skin.

Treatment

Will generally heal itself in most species. Dermal regeneration may be helpful, but in some cases may have little effect as it is not the skin that is damaged. Anti-coagulant procedures may be employed locally in the case of severe hematoma.

Contusion

Also known as a bruise, this is a blunt trauma damaging tissue underneath the surface of the skin. It is distinctive from a hematoma, which is the result of damage to a blood vessel.

Treatment

Treatment is consistent with a hematoma.

Crushing Injury

Caused by an extreme amount of force applied to all or part of the body over a period of time. The extent of the damage caused by a crushing injury may not be immediately apparent.

Treatment

Each case is unique. Bone fractures may be present, and these need to be addressed before the soft tissue can be repaired. Autosuturing and dermal regeneration are the best ways to close the wounds.

Ballistic Trauma

Caused by entry of a projected object into the body. This may include two external wounds (entry and exit) and a contiguous wound between the two. The pattern of injury, evaluation and Treatment will vary with the mechanism of the injury.

Thank you to P.W. (Tiguaq, George) for helping to create this article.