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The principles of wound care relating to trauma wounds that are often seen in primary care are outlined by Jackie Stephen-Haynes.
Trauma wounds are defined as 'wounds caused by injury';1 they range from minor abrasions to lacerations and extensive loss of tissue. Minor traumatic wounds are often encountered in primary care.
Assessing the wound
Any wound assessment should note the environment where the injury occurred and include a holistic assessment of the individual. Consider the skin as a sensory organ and gauge the patient's knowledge and understanding of their wound and general condition.
At the first presentation of a patient with a traumatic wound, a comprehensive history must be taken and documented. This should include a clinical and medication history, the patient's social/demographic circumstances, and a full assessment of the wound.
Points to note are the type of wound (e.g. puncture wound, bite, crush injury, fracture) and exact anatomical site, the type and extent of bleeding and if intervention is required, the status of tendons, nerves and blood supply to the wound and surrounding area, and function including range of movement.
Examine the wound for contamination, foreign bodies and suspected infection, and record the wound dimensions (length, width and depth) - consider a tracing …