Types of trauma
We are all subject to different types of wounds or injuries in daily life. Some of these wounds are the result of physical violence or physical factors. Mechanical violence or trauma occurs during a fall, or when we are hit by something; this can be a blunt or sharp object. Other wounds due to physical trauma occur when heat or even cold affects the body, such as burn wounds or thermal trauma. Electricity also causes wounds. Wounds due to radiation were especially seen after the nuclear explosions in Japan during WWII. Barotrauma occurs when the body is exposed to very high or low pressures, especially if it is associated with sudden changes in atmospheric pressure.
Many chemical substances act as irritants to the body. Corrosive substances like acids and alkalis often cause injuries to the mouth and oesophagus. Poisoning can also be regarded as a form of chemical trauma to the body.
Some of these wounds are discussed elsewhere in this study guide. The primary aim of this study unit is to discuss wounds involving the skin and underlying tissue which occur as a result of a mechanical force or violence acting on the body.