Wounds And Mechanical Injuries
A wound may be defined as a 'breach of continuity in the structures of
the body, whether external or internal, suddenly occasioned by
mechanical violence.' The law does not define 'a wound,' but the true
skin must be broken. Wounds are dangerous from shock, hæmorrhage, from
the supervention of crysipelas or pyæmia, and from malum regimen on
the part of the patient or surgeon. Is the wound dangerous to life?
ion can only be answered by a full consideration of all the
circumstances of the case; a guarded prognosis is wise in all cases.
=Burns= are caused by flames, highly heated solids, or very cold solids,
as solid carbonic acid; scalds, by steam or hot fluids. Burns may cause
death from shock, suffocation, oedema glottidis, inflammation of serous
surfaces, bronchitis, pneumonia, duodenal ulcer, coma, or exhaustion. A
burn of the skin inflicted during life is followed by a bleb containing
serum; the edges of this blister are bright red, and the base, seen
after removing the cuticle, is red and inflamed; if sustained after
death, a bleb, if present, contains but little fluid, and there are no
signs of vital reaction. There are six degrees of burns: (1) Superficial
inflammation; (2) formation of vesicles; (3) destruction of superficial
layer of skin; (4) destruction of cellular tissue; (5) deep parts
charred; (6) carbonization of bones.
The larger the area of skin burnt, the more grave is the prognosis.
Burns of the abdomen and genital organs are especially dangerous. Young
children are specially liable to die after burns.