A trauma centre is an area of a hospital that’s equipped to treat the most high-risk of injuries — think gunshot wounds, serious car crash injuries, and major burns.
If you experience physical trauma, you’ll receive treatment through a hospital’s emergency department — but not all emergency departments are created equal.
In addition to providing emergency care, some hospitals also function as trauma centres, and they’re staffed by specially trained health professionals who treat life-threatening injuries.
Trauma centres offer more extensive care than emergency departments, and the difference between a trauma centre and emergency room can be life and death. So, it’s important to understand what these facilities offer.
Trauma centres are typically located within hospitals, often in the emergency department.
Emergency rooms provide care to people suffering injuries ranging from a sprained ankle to a heart attack — and they are staffed with doctors, nurses, and medical experts who handle a variety of conditions.
Trauma centres, on the other hand, are for patients with the most extreme injuries. At trauma centres, you’ll find highly trained clinicians who specialize in treating traumatic injuries, including:
They staff the centre 24/7 and have access to resources such as an operating room, resuscitation area, laboratory, and diagnostic testing equipment. They are always prepared to treat patients.
Causes of bone fractures can include:
The symptoms of a fracture depend on the particular bone and the severity of the injury, but may include:
Different types of fracture include:
Not all fractures are of a person’s arm or leg. Trauma to the head, chest, spine or pelvis can fracture bones such as the skull and ribs.
These fractures are further complicated by the underlying body structure that the bone normally protects. Some of these fractures can be very difficult to manage using first-aid principles only as they may represent life-threatening injuries. Always seek emergency assistance if you suspect this type of fracture.
Other problems caused by bone fracture can include:
Good first-aid care of fractures is always important. Moving the broken bones can increase pain and bleeding and can damage tissues around the injury. This can lead to complications in the repair and healing of the injury later on.
First aid for fractures is all about immobilising (limiting movement of) the injured area. Splints can be used for this. Control any external bleeding. Complicated breaks where a limb is very deformed may need to be realigned before splinting – only paramedics or medical staff should do this.
Fractures of the head or body such as skull, ribs and pelvis are all serious and should be managed by paramedics.
If you suspect a bone fracture, you should:
Doctors can diagnose bone fractures with x-rays. They may also use CT scans (computed tomography) and MRI scans (magnetic resonance imaging).
Broken bones heal by themselves – the aim of medical treatment is to make sure the pieces of bone are lined up correctly. The bone needs to recover fully in strength, movement and sensitivity. Some complicated fractures may need surgery..
Depending on where the fracture is and how severe, treatment may include:
A cast made from plaster of Paris is one of the most common ways of immobilising a limb. This cast is made from a preparation of gypsum that sets hard when water is added. Depending on the location and severity of the fracture, the operation procedures can include:
After surgery, your doctor will check that you have full feeling in the area. For example, if you have a broken arm in plaster, they may ask you to wiggle your fingers. They will also check your limb for tingling, pallor (pale colour) or coolness. These tests check whether the splint is affecting your limb’s nerve and blood supply. The injured part is kept as still as possible in the first few days.
Nurses will offer you pain-relieving medication. They will determine the difference between the pain of your fracture and any pain that could be caused by the splint, traction, plaster cast, poor alignment of the limb or swelling of the limb.
Blood clots that form on the broken ends of bone are the start of the healing process. Over about seven to eight weeks, the body joins the two bone portions together with a combination of fibrous cells and cartilage however depending upon the age , nutrition , built of pt , comorbidities associated , type of fracture etc this healing time may be a lot longer.
This temporary bone (callus) is not as strong as real bone. It can break easily until it is slowly replaced with real bone. For this reason the doctor may remove your cast or splint after a few weeks, but you still need to treat the bone with care for at least one or two more month.
Follow your doctor’s advice, but general suggestions include:
In most cases, your cast will be removed after a few weeks but you must treat the limb with care for at least the next month or so. Leg fractures will take several months to heal. The weaker, temporary bone (callus) is still being replaced by real bone and can be easily injured.
Your doctor may take more x-rays to check on the bone’s healing progress.
Unlike skin, broken bones heal without forming scar tissue. But immobilised muscles tend to weaken and wither. You may need rehabilitation, including strengthening exercises, for a short time.