What is injury?

Any damage to your body is an injury. Injuries can be caused by accidents or acts of violence, and may occur at home, work, or play. They can be due to impact from blunt objects or from objects that penetrate the body. Common types of injury include abrasions, lacerations, hematomas, broken bones, joint dislocations, sprains, strains, and burns.

Injuries can be minor or severe. Minor injuries can often be managed with basic first aid techniques, while major injuries may require medical intervention or evaluation in an emergency setting. In some cases, a seemingly minor injury may in fact be a major injury requiring more urgent medical attention. Your doctor will also determine if an underlying medical condition was responsible. For example, a bruise that came from a fall caused by an elderly person fainted while attempting to stand – all because of poor blood circulation.

Many injuries can be prevented through use of safety devices, such as infant car seats, helmets, goggles, seatbelts, and child-resistant containers. Risk of injuries can be minimized by following commonsense safety precautions, such as avoiding contact with very hot surfaces and using caution during outdoor activities like hiking or boating. Diagnosis and treatment of injury has improved over time, so that once fatal injuries are now much more likely to be survivable. Even so, significant injuries can have long-lasting complications that can require ongoing care. In the United States, accidental injuries are the leading cause of death in those between ages one and 44 years (Source: CDC).

Treatment of injury depends upon the type and severity. In the event of a severe injury, calling 911 and use of basic life support measures can save a life. It is also important to prevent any further injury, which may involve stabilization of the spine, splinting injuries, and reducing ongoing blood loss as much as possible.

Serious injury can lead to permanent disability and may be life threatening. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have symptoms such as heavy bleeding, visible deformity, broken bones, large burns, injury to the head with confusion or loss of consciousness, severe pain, rapid or absent heartbeat, weak pulse, blood in vomit or stool, difficulty breathing, pale or blue lips, chest pain or pressure, seizure, change in level of consciousness or mental status, injury to back or neck, or if you have any other reason to be concerned that the injury might be life threatening.


SYMPTOMS

What are the symptoms of injury?

Injury symptoms vary depending on the type and severity of the injury itself. Injuries range from minor cuts, bruises and scrapes to large, open wounds, severe burns, and blunt force resulting in unconsciousness.

Common symptoms of injury

Injury symptoms include:

CAUSES

What causes injury?

Anything that can damage the body can cause an injury. Injuries can be accidental or intentional, as in the case of acts of violence, and can be caused by blunt or sharp objects, impact at high speed, falls, animal or insect bites, fire or extreme heat, and exposure to chemicals and toxins. You can prevent or reduce the risk of many injuries by following basic safety precautions.

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TREATMENTS

How is injury treated?

Treatment of injury depends upon its type and severity. Some injuries can be treated with basic first aid techniques such as wound cleansing, application of antibiotic ointments or liquids, wound dressings, rest, application of ice, compression, and elevation. More severe injuries may require cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and other resuscitation procedures, stitches, or surgery.

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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 23, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Injuries and Wounds


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