EMS World

AUG 2011

EMS World Magazine is the most authoritative source in the world for clinical and educational material designed to improve the delivery of prehospital emergency medical care.

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| By Joseph J. Mistovich, MEd, NREMT-P, Daniel Limmer, AS, EMT-P, Howard A. Werman, MD, FACEP, & Daniel Batsie, EMT-P TRANSITION SERIES: Part 4: Orthopedic Trauma Brady is pleased to share a preview of its forthcoming EMS Transition Series. The fi rst offering is for the EMT level. Transition JOSEPH MISTOVICH and DAN LIMMER are featured speakers at EMS World Expo 2011, Aug. 29–Sept. 2, at the Las Vegas (NV) Convention Ctr. For more information, visit EMSWorldExpo.com. Series: Topics for the EMT by Joseph Mistovich and Daniel Limmer provides both an overview of new information contained within the National EMS Education Standards at the EMT level and a source of continuing education for practicing EMTs. Intended for a new generation of EMTs, the text integrates new “topics” that were not contained in the U.S. DOT 1994 EMT-Basic National Standard Curriculum and existing “topics” at a much greater depth and breadth than what was contained in the typical EMT-Basic education program. During 2011, EMS World Magazine will feature exclusive excerpts from this new textbook. Visit www.bradybooks. com for more information. 56 AUGUST 2011 | EMSWORLD.com “No one ever died from a broken bone” is a myth sometimes heard among circles of less-informed health- care providers. It is true that orthopedic trauma is often classified as a lower priority than airway and breathing, and it is true that a broad spectrum of poten- tial musculoskeletal injuries ranges from severe to minor; however, to universally consider orthopedic trauma to be insig- nificant or benign in nature is a very serious mistake. Broken bones have killed. Furthermore, the immediate treatment of orthopedic injuries can play a major role not just in life or death but also in the overall impact of the injury on the patient. The assessment and proper prehospital treat- ment you provide play a direct role in the outcome of the injury. Epidemiology According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traumatic injuries are the leading cause of death for people under the age of 44; each year, roughly 1 in 10 people will visit an emergency room to seek treatment for a traumatic injury. The tragic loss of life, loss of productivity, and the enormous cost of rehabilitation place a tremendous burden on the healthcare system. On a personal level, orthopedic injuries are a major life-changing event for many of our patients. Aside from being potentially life-threatening inju- ries, musculoskeletal trauma may also threaten patients’ well-being, psycholog- ical health, and general independence. Often, care of orthopedic trauma is mistakenly delegated to a lower priority. Although there certainly may be higher priorities of care in a trauma patient, appro- priate treatment of a musculoskeletal injury may signifi cantly affect the severity of the injury and, in general, improve the overall outcome of the patient. Pathophysiology The adult body contains 206 bones. Dan Limmer

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