Prehospital and Hospital Evaluation of Chest Trauma
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Trucking Accident Lawyer. While still in the field, the most that emergency medical technicians can do is to follow routine Advanced Trauma Life Support, which focuses on airway, breathing, and circulation. It is critical to take the patient to a high level trauma center as soon as possible, avoiding unnecessary interventions that may only delay definitive treatment.
Cervical spine immobilization should be done and high flow oxygen should be given by mask. The patient should be monitored via cardiac electrodes. There should be no delay in order to place IV lines or to intubate the patient unless the patient cannot be stabilized with a bag/mask device.
If there is no indication of respiratory difficulty or major injury, no intervention is likely to be necessary. The EMTs should, however, make note of the condition of the vehicle and steering wheel, whether or not the victim was ejected, significant intrusion into the passenger compartment, and whether or not there were fatalities among the other passengers. If the patient is hypotensive at the scene, this may indicate significant injury; this information should be passed on to the attending physician prior to arrival to the emergency department. Continue reading ›