A trauma is a severe injury that occurs suddenly. Because of trauma center development, there are facilities available with staff trained to deal with such situations. Nevertheless, as trauma is unexpected by its very nature, you may be called upon to provide first aid until help arrives.
The following are some of the most common traumatic injuries that may occur and what you should do in the event of each.
Severe burns can occur due to exposure to extreme heat, electricity, or corrosive chemicals. If a person is on fire, you can apply a wet blanket to extinguish the flames. The severity of the injury depends on how deeply the burn extends, where it occurs (e.g., face or genitals), and how large an area it covers. Severe burns should be covered with a clean cloth. However, any clothing that is stuck to the skin should not be removed as further injury may result.
When a bone breaks, sometimes a fragment extends out through the skin. This is called a compound fracture or an open fracture. To prevent further injury, the broken bone should be padded with a cloth or towel and splinted. You should not try to move the bone fragments back into place, and the splint should not be so tight as to cut off circulation to the affected extremity.
A spine injury can occur at any point along the spinal cord, from the neck to the low back. A severe injury can cause permanent paralysis, so if you suspect a spinal cord injury, it is important to avoid moving the person unnecessarily. To prevent movement, you can stabilize the head and neck using your hands.
First aid for head injuries is similar to that for spine injuries. This is because it can be difficult to assess whether a person with a severe head injury also has a spinal cord injury of the neck. In either case, you should keep the person still and be prepared to perform CPR, or at least chest compressions, if the person stops breathing.