crushing wound

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A break in the continuity of body structures caused by violence, trauma, or surgery to tissues. In treating the nonsurgically created wound, tetanus prophylaxis must be considered. If not previously immunized, the patient should be given tetanus immune globulin.

Patient care

Successful wound assessment relies on a thorough, organized approach. This assessment includes the wound's location, size, depth, undermining, drainage, wound edges, base, and surrounding tissues. Include an assessment for any redness, swelling, tenderness, and gangrene/necrosis. The assessment includes the patient's vital signs and measures used, which improve the wound healing. The assessment includes the patient's vital signs and measures taken to improve the wound healing. Multiple diagnostic modalities (such as radiographic studies) may be employed to further delineate the extent of the injury.

abdominal wound

A traumatic injury or surgical incision which may be superficial or extend to intraperitoneal or extraperitoneal organs or tissues. In cases of abdominal trauma, a careful examination (often including peritoneal lavage, ultrasonography, or computed tomographic scanning of the abdomen) is necessary to determine the precise nature of the injury and the proper course of treatment. Superficial injuries may require no more than ordinary local care; immediate laparotomy may be needed, however, when major bleeding or organ damage has occurred. Intravenous fluids, blood components, antibiotics, and tetanus prophylaxis are given when necessary. Major abdominal trauma may be overlooked in comatose or otherwise critically injured patients when there is no obvious abdominal injury. See: abdomen

bullet wound

A penetrating wound caused by a missile discharged from a firearm. The extent of injury depends on the wound site and the speed and character of the bullet. gunshot wound


Tetanus booster injection or tetanus immune globulin and antibiotics, if indicated, should be given. An appropriate bandage should be applied. Emergency surgery may be necessary. Complications, including hemorrhage and shock, should be treated.

contused wound

A bruise in which the skin is not broken. It may be caused by a blunt instrument. Injury of the tissues under the skin, leaving the skin unbroken, traumatizes the soft tissue. Ruptured blood vessels underneath the skin cause discoloration. If extravasated blood becomes encapsulated, it is termed hematoma; if it is diffuse, ecchymosis. See: ecchymosis; hematoma


Cold compresses, pressure, and rest, along with elevation of the injured area, will help prevent or reduce swelling. When the acute stage is over (within 24 to 48 hr), continued rest, heat, and elevation are prescribed. Aseptic drainage may be indicated.

crushing wound

, crush woundCrush injury.

fishhook wound

An injury caused by a fishhook becoming embedded in soft tissue. Deeply embedded fishhooks are difficult to remove. One should push the hook through, then cut off the barb with an instrument, and pull the remainder of the fishhook out by the route of entry. Antitetanus treatment should be given as indicated. Because these injuries often become infected, prophylactic use of a broad-spectrum antibiotic is indicated.

gunshot wound

Abbreviation: GSW
A penetrating injury from a bullet shot from a gun. At very close range, the wound may have gunpowder deposits and the skin burn marks. GSWs can crush, penetrate, stretch, cavitate, or fracture body structures. The severity of the wound may depend on the structures damaged, the velocity and caliber of the bullet, and the underlying health of the victim. See: bullet wound

knuckle wound

Any injury to the metacarpal bones, esp. one that results from a fist fight. These wounds commonly include fractures and penetrating injuries contaminated with oral or periodontal bacteria.
Synonym: knuckle tooth wound

knuckle tooth wound

Knuckle wound.

lacerated wound


nonpenetrating wound

Blunt trauma.
Enlarge picture
OPEN WOUND: An open cavitary wound

open wound

A contusion in which the skin is also broken, such as a gunshot, incised, or lacerated wound.
See: illustration

penetrating wound

A wound in which the skin is broken and the agent causing the wound enters subcutaneous tissue or a deeply lying structure or cavity.

perforating wound

Any wound that has breached the body wall or internal organs. The perforation may be partial or complete.

puncture wound

A wound made by a sharp-pointed instrument such as a dagger, ice pick, or needle. A puncture wound usually is collapsed, which provides ideal conditions for infection. The placement of a drain, antitetanus therapy or prophylaxis, and gas gangrene prophylaxis may be required. This will depend on the nature of the instrument that caused the injury.

subcutaneous wound

A wound, such as contusion, that is unaccompanied by a break in the skin.

sucking chest wound

A wound that penetrates the thorax and draws air into the pleural cavity, usually resulting in an expanding pneumothorax.

tunnel wound

A wound having a small entrance and exit of uniform diameter.
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners