Post-Trauma Immediate Intervention

One of the most painful traumas that one can get is having fractures. Being hit by any force, accidentally breaking a bone during a game/sport, being in a car accident, etc. involves different types of trauma.

The affected area will become swollen, red and very painful in just a couple of minutes after the injury. This is a normal body response to the trauma. Although this kind of cases is very painful, it can be easily managed as long as one knows what to do initially.

Cold Compress
The very first thing that should be done when one is injured is to apply cold compress to the affected area.

Cold compress needs to be applied immediately after a trauma occurs. It is numbing and it helps reduce pain on the affected area. Cold compress also allows vasoconstriction (thinning the veins) so that there will be not too much blood loss especially if there is an open wound. Also swelling will be minimized; tissue fluid leaks out towards the fractured area, and in order to control it from forming edema, ice is applied.

Cold compress must be applied to the area indirectly. One can use towel to cover the ice and softly massage it to the painful area. Ice packs are also available in the market and if one has frozen peas in the freezer at home, it can be applied to the injury too. The goal of applying cold compress on the initial phase of trauma is to reduce pain/edema and promote faster healing.

Warm Compress
After the 72 hours period from the time the injury has occurred and after cold compress had been used, it is time for warm compress to be applied.

Warm temperature promotes vasodilation (dilating of the veins) thereby promoting wound healing on injured body part because blood can easily pass through and circulate in the area. Blood brings lots of components that aid in the healing process of the injured body part. It brings along fibers to patch up and create a new network of tissue to prevent continuous bleeding and to close an open wound faster. Blood also brings oxygen and nutrients to the affected area to facilitate faster production and growth of cells as well as hastening the healing process in the affected body part. Along with red blood cells circulating, white blood cells also accompany RBCs to engulf bacteria and fight off infection.

What Next?
After the initial interventions above which are the cold and hot compresses, it is time that the patient should start other treatments such as taking in medications prescribed or undergoing a surgery to fix fractures (if necessary) or close wounds.

If there is an open wound, the bleeding should be controlled. If there is a closed wound, the swelling should be minimized. Pain is also a primary consideration to take precautions of because nobody can relate to the pain being experienced by the patient.

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