Trauma terms

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acute radiation syndrome

a·cute ra·di·a·tion syn·drome

/əˈkyo͞ot ˌrādēˈāSH(ə)n ˈsinˌdrōm/

Noun

May include signs of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration. In severe exposure cases, altered mental status, cerebral edema, and seizures may result.

amputation

am·pu·ta·tion

/ˈampyəˌtā SH(ə)n/

Noun

A partial or complete loss of an appendage

arterial bleed

ar·te·ri·al bleed

/ˌärˈtirēəl blēd/

Noun

A damaged artery will tend to bleed quickly. When it first begins, the bleeding may be pulsating or spurting out of the wound. If bleeding is not controlled, the pressure inside the arteries will decrease, and the blood flow will become more steady. The color of arterial blood is bright red. A cleanly severed artery will tend to constrict and slow bleeding naturally but usually not enough to fully control bleeding and additional steps are needed to stop the flow.

atrophy

at·ro·phy

/ˈatrəfē/

Verb

To decrease in size, typically due to degeneration in cells

avulsion

a·vul·sion

/əˈvəlSHən/

Noun

This open injury occurs when a flap of skin is partially or completely torn off. Bleeding may be significant, depending on the amount of area involved and depth of the avulsion. Because of the loss of skin, the risk of infection is significant

backboard

back·board

/ˈbakbôrd/

Noun

A flat device used in spinal immoblization to which the patient is placed and secured with straps and a head immobilization device. Pads are used to fill the voids.

battle's sign

bat·tles sign

/ˈbatles sīn/

Noun

Bruising behind the ears, a finding that develops slowly and indicates a basal skull fracture.

bite wound

bite wound

/bīt wo͞ond/

Noun

Soft tissue injury that can be a combination of both open and closed wounds, with penetration by the teeth and crushing by force

blunt trauma

blunt trau·ma

/blənt ˈtroumə/

Noun

The injuries of blunt trauma result when tissues undergo compression, deceleration, acceleration, and sheer forces, a lateral force that stretches tissues as one structure changes speed at a different rate than an adjacent structure. Compression results when an organ or structure is squeezed between other structures or organs.

capillary bleed

cap·il·lar·y bleed

/ˈkapəˌlerē blēd/

Noun

Bleeding from capillary beds tends to ooze, and the blood tends to be darker in color. Controlling capillary bleeding is usually simple to achieve, unless there is a large area to manage. Generally speaking, capillary bleeding is not life-threatening.

cavitation

cav·i·ta·tion

/ˌkavəˈtāSHən/

Noun

A temporary cavity produces a shock wave created as a bullet tears through tissue.

chemical burn

chem·i·cal burn

/ˈkemək(ə)l bərn/

Noun

These can be categorized into two general categories. In an incident involving an acid, the chemical causes the proteins to nature, forming a coagulum or eschar that effectively slows or stops the depth of the burn. A base liquefies the skin and can continue to burn for some time, causing a deep and large tissue injury

circumferential burn

cir·cum·fer·en·tial burn

/sərˌkʌm fəˈrɛn ʃəl bərn/

Noun

A burn that surrounds an extremity

closed injury

closed in·ju·ry

/klōzd ˈinj(ə)rē/

Noun

An injury that doesn't break the integrity of the skin

compartment syndrome

com·part·ment syn·drome

/kəmˈpärtmənt ˈsinˌdrōm/

Noun

When swelling from injury becomes trapped in certain parts of the tissue, causing hypoxia in the tissue and, eventually, necrosis

concussion

con·cus·sion

/kənˈkəSHən/

Noun

A temporary change in neurologic function after the brain experiences rapid acceleration/deceleration forces or a direct blow to the head

contrecoup injury

con·tre·coup in·ju·ry

/ˈkäntrəˌko͞o ˈinj(ə)rē/

Noun

The injury on the opposite side of the head as the impact from blunt force trauma

contusion

con·tu·sion

/kənˈto͞oZHən/

Noun

Commonly called a bruise, a contusion is an injury to the dermal layer of the skin. If blood vessels are damaged, blood may pool, producing a black to blue discoloration called ecchymosis. This color will slowly turn yellow and even green as the injury heals itself.

cord concussion

cord con·cus·sion

/kôrd kənˈkəSHən/

Noun

Injury to the spinal cord due to a blow to the vertebral column that results in temporary loss of cord function

cord transection

cord trans·ec·tion

/kôrd tranˈsekSH(ə)n/

Noun

Injuty caused by shearing of the spinal cord that results in permanent neurologic dysfunction below the level of the injury

coup injury

coup in·ju·ry

/ko͞o ˈinj(ə)rē/

Noun

The injury on the same side of the head as the impact from blunt force trauma

crush injury

crush in·ju·ry

/krəSH ˈinj(ə)rē/

Noun

Blunt force trauma spread over a larger area of the body

deformity

de·form·i·ty

/dəˈfôrmədē/

Adjective

A malformed body part

denaturation

de·na·tur·a·tion

/dē-nā'chər'a'SHən/

Noun

The process of the proteins of the skin breaking down, changing shape and stopping their function due to exposure to high temperatures

diffuse axonal injury

dif·fuse axon·al in·ju·ry

/dəˈfyo͞os ks-nl, k-snl ˈinj(ə)rē/

Noun

A widespread injury throughout the brain.

diplopia

di·plo·pi·a

/diˈplōpēə/

Noun

Double vision

direct pressure

di·rect pres·sure

/dəˈrekt ˈpreSHər/

Noun

Applying pressure with a gloved hand to a wound that is bleeding

direction of force

di·rec·tion of force

/diˈrekSHən əv fôrs/

Noun

Motor vehicle collisions can be categorized into five types based on the direction of force. They are frontal, rear, lateral, and rotational impact, and rollover.

ecchymosis

ec·chy·mo·sis

/ˌekəˈmōsis/

Noun

Discoloration caused by bleeding under tissues

electrical burn

e·lec·tri·cal burn

/əˈlektrək(ə)l bərn/

Noun

Burns from electricity occur as the energy is transformed to heat as it passes through the soft tissue. The severity and depth of the soft tissue burn depends on the type of current, the amount of voltage and contact time.

energy

en·er·gy

/ˈenərjē/

Noun

The agent of trauma. The effect of energy depends on its type, amount, and duration of exposure, as well as the composition and shape of the material involved in trauma.

epidural hematoma

ep·i·du·ral he·ma·to·ma

/ˌepəˈd(y)o͝orəl ˌhēməˈtōmə/

Noun

A bleed where blood collects between the skull and the dura mater

eschar

es·char

/ˈeskär/

Noun

A condition from a burn in which the skin becomes hard and inflexible makes movement difficult

event phase

e·vent phase

/iˈvent fāz/

Noun

The time frame in which the trauma takes place.

evisceration

e·vis·ce·ra·tion

/iˈvisəˌrāSH(ə)n/

Noun

When penetrating trauma causes and opening large enough to release abdominal contents outside of the abdominal cavity

external bleeding

ex·ter·nal bleed·ing

/ikˈstərnl ˈblēdiNG/

Noun

Bleeding that appears outside the body.

first law of motion

first law of mo·tion

/fərst lô əv ˈmōSHən/

Noun

Isaac Newton's first law of motion says that an object at rest will remain at rest, and an object in motion will remain in motion, unless acted on by an outside force.

frontal impact collision

fron·tal im·pact col·li·sion

/ˈfrəntl ˈimˌpakt kəˈliZHən/

Noun

This may be head-on or offset from the center of the vehicle. The front of the car comes to a sudden stop, but the rear of the car and its occupants continue to move forward. As occupants continue to travel forward in a crash, they tend to follow one of two possible paths: up-and-over and down-and-under

full thickness burn

full thick·ness burn

/fo͝ol ˈTHiknəs bərn/

Noun

A burn that consumes all layers of the skin. When the skin either takes on a dry, white appearance and appears thick and leather like or turns black looks charred, it is a third degree burn. When a full thickness burn involves the subcutaneous layer, muscle tissue, bones and organs, it is a fourth degree burn.

head immobilization device

head im·mo·bi·liza·tion de·vice

/hed i(m)ˈmōbəˌlīzāSH(ə)n dəˈvīs/

Noun

A device that minimizes the patient’s head from moving from side to side

helmet

hel·met

/ˈhelmit/

Noun

A helmet is a device worn on the head that's designed to absorb the energy of an impact, reducing injury to the skull, brain, and face.

hematoma

he·ma·to·ma

/ˌhēməˈtōmə/

Noun

A bump or mass formed when blood collects in the skin. It can be palpated. It will turn dark blue or black in color as the blood loses the oxygen it was carrying. The mass can put pressure on pain receptors in the skin, causing them to be quite tender sometimes.

hemostatic agent

he·mo·stat·ic a·gent

/ˈhēmə,ˈstadik ˈājənt/

Noun

Commercially avaialable products that aid in controlling bleeding with the goal of speeding up the natural clotting process or sealing the wound.

high-energy weapon

high en·er·gy weap·on

/hī ˈenərjē ˈwepən/

Noun

A gun is a high-energy weapon.

hyphema

hy·phe·ma

/haɪˈfi mə/

Noun

An accumulation of blood into the anterior chamber of the eye, often associated with deep, aching pain, diminished visual acuity, and increased intraocular pressure that can permanently damage the eye

impact

im·pact

/ˈimˌpakt/

Noun

Three impacts occur in rapid succession in a motor vehicle collision. The first impact is the collision of the motor vehicle with an object. The second impact is of the occupants against the interior of the vehicle. The third impact is of the vital organs against the interior surface of body cavities.

impaled object

im·pal·ed ob·ject

/imˈpāl'ed ˈäbjəkt

Noun

An object that has entered and lodged itself into the body, typically by force

internal bleeding

in·ter·nal bleed·ing

/inˈtərnl ˈblēdiNG/

Noun

Bleeding within the body

intracerebral hematoma

he·ma·to·ma in·tra ce·re·bral

/ˈintrə səˈrēbrəl ˌhēməˈtōmə/

Noun

A solid swelling of clotted blood within the tissues

intracranial pressure

in·tra·cra·ni·al pres·sure

/ˌintrəˈkrānēəl ˈpreSHər/

Noun

The pressure of 10 mmHg created inside the skull by the brain, cerebral spinal fluid (CSF), and blood

kinetic energy

ki·net·ic en·er·gy

/kəˈnetik ˈenərjē/

Noun

The energy of motion, which factors in an object's weight and speed. It can be expressed by the equation KE=0.5mv2, where m equals mass, and v equals velocity, or speed.

laceration

lac·er·a·tion

/ˌlasəˈrāSH(ə)n/

Noun

A break in the skin. The edges of the break can be smooth (known as linear or as an incision) or irregular (stellate). An irregular laceration may bleed more profusely and may take longer to heal.

law of conservation of energy

law of con·ser·va·tion of en·er·gy

/lô əv ˌkänsərˈvāSHən əv ˈenərjē/

Noun

The law of conservation of energy says that energy cannot be created or destroyed, but can be changed from one form to another.

low-energy weapon

low en·er·gy weap·on

/lō ˈenərjē ˈwepən/

Noun

These include hand-powered objects such as a knife or ice pick. These objects injure with sharp points or edges, and tend to produce less secondary trauma as with the cavitation of higher-powered weapons.

lucid period

lu·cid pe·ri·od

/ˈlo͞osəd ˈpirēəd/

Noun

When a patient regains consciousness for a short period of time

manual spinal immobilization

man·u·al spi·nal im·mo·bi·liza·tion

/ˈmanyə(wə)l ˈspīnl i(m)ˈmōbəˌlīzāSH(ə)n/

Noun

The procedure of placing hands on either side of a patint's head to limiting movement of bony fragments in unstable fractures from causing further cord damage. This is done to maintain an open spinal canal that allows flow of blood and CSF fluid to the spinal cord and to reduce the risk of additional spinal injuries.

medium-energy weapon

me·di·um en·er·gy weap·on

/ˈmēdēəm ˈenərjē ˈwepən/

Noun

Guns are medium-energy weapon.

meninges

me·nin·ges

/məˈninjēz/

Noun

Three layers of protective lining that completely cover the brain and spinal cord

multisystem trauma

multi·sys·tem trau·ma

/ˈməltē ˈsistəm ˈtroumə/

Noun

Trauma occuring to more than one body system.

neglect

ne·glect

/nəˈɡlekt/

Noun

Failure to provide for the child’s basic needs. Neglect can be physical, emotional, or educational.

occult

oc·cult

/əˈkəlt/

Adjective

Difficult to locate or concealed

open injury

o·pen in·ju·ry

/ˈōpən ˈinj(ə)rē/

Noun

An injury that breaks the integrity of the skin

orbital blow out

or·bit·al blow out

/ˈôrbitl blō out/

Noun

A rapid increase in intraocular pressure that causes the eye to protrude beyond the orbital ridge. It's often caused by blast, crush injuries, and high-impact blunt trauma

palmar method

pal·mar meth·od

/pä(l)m är ˈmeTHəd

Noun

A method for estimating the percentage of body surface area in a burned patient that uses the patient’s hand palm to estimate 1% BSA. This method may be useful in estimating burn areas smaller than a full extremity.

partial thickness burn

par·tial thick·ness burn

/ˈpärSHəl ˈTHiknəs bərn/

Noun

A burn that involves the epidermal and dermal layers of the skin. Often presents with bllisters, which can form as fluid collects from the damaged dermal layer. Partial thickness burns can be superficial or deep, depending on the thickness of the dermis involved.

penetrating trauma

pen·e·trat·ing trau·ma

/ˈpeniˌtrātiNG ˈtroumə/

Noun

Penetrating injuries tend to be very localized on the body. The force associated with a penetrating object is great enough to break through the skin and cause injury, sometimes deep inside the body.

periorbital ecchymosis

per·i·or·bit·al ec·chy·mo·sis

/pr-ôrb-tl ˌekəˈmōsis/

Noun

Commonly called "black eye," this is caused by bleeding under the tissue surrounding the eye.

physical abuse

phys·i·cal a·buse

/ˈfizik(ə)l əˈbyo͞os/

Noun

The deliberate infliction of physical injury on another being

post-event phase

post e·vent phase

/post iˈvent fāz/

Noun

The time frame in which the patient’s state of general health, EMS care, and access to a trauma care hospital or trauma center will play a factor in the patient’s ultimate outcome. This includes recognizing serious trauma potential, managing injuries quickly yet effectively, and transporting safely to a trauma center.

pre-event phase

pre e·vent phase

/pri iˈvent fāz/

Noun

The time frame in which actions can be taken to reduce the risk of trauma. This includes keeping people healthy from injury by advocating strongly for injury prevention programs such as child-proofing homes, checking smoke alarms, installing child safety seats in cars, and reducing trip hazards inside homes.

primary injury

pri·ma·ry in·ju·ry

/ˈprīˌmerē ˈinj(ə)rē/

Noun

Injury relating from direct trauma

puncture wound

punc·ture wound

/ˈpəNGk(t)SHər wo͞ond/

Noun

An opening in the skin is created when a sharp object is pushed through it. Depending on the location of the injury, bleeding may not be significant. The puncture may be the sign that points to a more significant injury underneath, and puncture wounds can easily become infected, especially if the wound is deep.

quaternary injury

quat·er·nar·y in·ju·ry

/ˈkwätərˌnerē ˈinjərē/

Noun

An injury caused by heat, smoke, or fumes created by the explosion, which can result in burns, inhalation injury, or asphyxiation.

quinary injury

qui·na·ry in·ju·ry

/ˈkwīˌnerē ˈinjərē/

Noun

An injury that includes a range of health effects produced by materials added to bombs to maximize its harm, such as chemical, radioactive, or biological materials.

radiation burn

ra·di·a·tion burn

/ˌrādēˈāSH(ə)n bərn/

Noun

Burns from radiation look like other types of burns, although they may not appear until 12 - 20 days after exposure. The level and amount of burn is dependent on the type of radiation and the duration of contact. Radiation burns are managed much like thermal injuries.

rear-impact collision

rear im·pact col·li·sion

/ri(ə)r ˈimˌpakt kəˈliZHən/

Noun

A rear-impact collision occurs when a stationary or slow-moving object is struck by a vehicle that is traveling faster. Much of the forward impact is cushioned by the seat and the frame of a vehicle, and less likely to produce injury.

revised trauma score

re·vised trau·ma

/riˈvīzid ˈtroumə skôr/

Noun

The revised trauma score (RTS) is a rating tool used to predict survival from blunt trauma. The RTS is comprised of scores for the GCS, the systolic blood pressure, and the ventilatory rate. Each component is rated from 4 (best) to 0 (worst), for a range of 12 to 0.

RICE

rice

/rīs/

Noun

A mneumonic to treat extremity injuries where r stands for rest, i for ice, c for compression, and e for elevation.

rollover

roll·o·ver

/ˈrōlˌōvər/

Noun

A rollover subjects a vehicle and its occupants to several impacts. The occupants and their internal organs can experience multiple impact points, particularly if unrestrained.

rotational-impact collision

ro·ta·tion·al im·pact col·li·sion

/rōˈtāSHən kəl imˌpakt kəˈliZHən/

Noun

A rotational-impact collision occurs when a corner of a vehicle strikes another vehicle or a stationary object. The injuries that result are a combination of those in front-impact and side-impact collisions.

rule of nines

rule of nines

/ro͞ol əv nīnz/

Noun

A method for estimating the percentage of body surface area in a burned patient that divides the adult body into parts that equal roughly 9% each and the pediatric body into 9% and 14%.

seat belt

seat belt

/sēt belt/

Noun

A device designed to absorb the energy of the occupant in a moving vehicle that has stopped suddenly, and dissipate the energy over a large area of the torso.

secondary injury

sec·ond·ar·y in·ju·ry

/ˈsekənˌderē ˈinj(ə)rē/

Noun

Injury caused by complications from the direct trauma

sexual abuse

sex·u·al a·buse

/ˈsekSH(əw)əl əˈbyo͞os/

Noun

The engaging of a person in unwanted sexual activities

sheer force

sheer force

/SHi(ə)r fôrs/

Noun

A lateral force that stretches tissues as one structure changes speed at a different rate than an adjacent structure.

side-impact collision

side im·pact col·li·sion

/sīd ˈimˌpakt kəˈliZHən/

Noun

A side-impact collision, also known as lateral impact, occurs when a vehicle is hit from the side at an intersection, known as a T-bone, or when a vehicle leaves the road and strikes a tree, telephone pole, or some other roadside object. The lateral forces of side impacts tend to result in a pattern of multiple injury involving the head, neck chest, abdomen and pelvis.

skull

skull

/skəl/

Noun

The structure formed by the cranial bones that protects the brain

soft tissue injury

soft tis·sue in·ju·ry

/sôft ˈtiSHo͞o ˈinj(ə)rē/

Noun

Damage of muscles, ligaments and tendons

splint

splint

/splint/

Noun

A device made of rigid material that's applied to an extremity and help reduce or minimize the incidence of bleeding by immobilizing it

subarachnoid hematoma

sub·a·rach·noid he·ma·to·ma

/ˌsəbəˈraknoid ˌhēməˈtōmə/

Noun

A solid swelling of clotted blood within the tissues that occurs beneath the arachnoid membrane, usually caused by ruptured cerebral aneurysms that burst after traumatic events.

subluxation

sub·lux·a·tion

/ˌsəbˌləkˈsāSH(ə)n/

Noun

A partial dislocation

superficial burn

su·per·fi·cial burn

/ˌso͞opərˈfiSHəl bərn/

Noun

A burn that involves only the epidermal layer of the skin. It presents as reddened skin and may feel warm to the touch.

susceptible host

sus·cep·ti·ble host

/səˈseptəbəl hōst/

Noun

The victim of trauma. Susceptibility to injury can vary depending on such factors as age, reaction time, intoxication, and fatigue.

suture

su·ture

/ˈso͞oCHər/

Noun

Stitches placed on a large wound that will hold the skin together while the skin heals itself, helping the natural healing process or avoiding a large scar.

swelling

swell·ing

/ˈsweliNG/

Adjective

An enlargement due to accumulation of body fluid

tenderness

ten·der·ness

/ˈtendərnəs/

Adjective

A sensitivity to pain

tertiary injury

ter·ti·ar·y in·ju·ry

/ˈtərSHēˌerē ˈinjərē/

Noun

An injury that occurs when the victim is thrown against an object, struck by a large object thrown by the blast, or crushed beneath collapsed structural material. Injuries of the tertiary phase are similar to a victim ejected during a vehicular crash or who fell from a height.

thermal burns

ther·mal burn

/ˈTHərməl bərn/

Noun

A burn that happens after skin comes in contact with high heat. This is the most common type of burn.

tinnitus

tin·ni·tus

/ˈtinitəs/

Noun

Hearing loss or ringing in the ear caused by significant blunt trauma mechanism to the ear area that injured the structures located in the inner ear

tooth avulsion

tooth a·vul·sion

/to͞oTH əˈvəlSHən/

Noun

When the periodontal ligament is severed and the tooth is completely displaced out of the tooth socket by trauma

tourniquet

tour·ni·quet

/ˈtərnəkət/

Noun

A device applied proximal to a wound in which bleeding can't be stopped with direct pressure.

traction splint

trac·tion splint

/ˈtrakSH(ə)n splint/

Noun

A rigid immobilization device applied to a femur fracture to pull the bones back in alignment and reduce the bleeding

trauma

trau·ma

/ˈtroumə/

Noun

Physical damage produced by energy that exceeds the body's limits of resilience

trauma center

trau·ma cen·ter

/ˈtroumə ˈsentər/

Noun

Specialized facilities equipped to provide comprehensive emergency services to severely injured victims. In the U.S., a hospital can receive trauma center verification by meeting criteria established by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) or designation by state or local authorities. Trauma centers are categorized from Level I to Level IV and pediatric trauma care, according to the level of care that is provided. Level I trauma center provides the highest level of care to injured patients.

traumatic brain injury

trau·mat·ic brain in·ju·ry

/trəˈmadik, brān ˈinj(ə)rē/

Noun

Injuries of the brain and spinal cord that can be caused by blunt and penetrating traumas.

venous bleed

ve·nous bleed

/ˈvēnəs blēd/

Noun

Blood tends to flow steadily from a damaged vein. The color of the blood tends to be darker red, since there is very little oxygen attached to the red blood cells. Venous bleeding can be more difficult to control, especially if larger veins are involved.

wound

wound

/wo͞ond/

Noun

A soft tissue injury resulting from a force mechanism