EngradeWikis › TRAUMA


Chapter 17--Introduction

Trauma is the primary cause of death and disability for people in the 1 to 34 years of age range.
What is the definition of trauma?

Trauma is an acute physiologic and structural change (injury) that occurs in a patient's body when an external source of energy dissipates faster than the body's ability to sustain and dissipate it. There are different forms of injury that produce different kinds of trauma.


a. Mechanical injury is energy from motion (kinetic energy) or injury stored in an object (potential energy).
Examples of each:
1. Kinetic Energy--Found in two moving vehicles colliding
2. Potential Energy--Present in a fall from a height (gravity is the source)

b. Chemical Energy---Found in an explosive or an acid. This type of energy is even from a reaction to an ingested or medically delivered agent or drug

c. Electrical Energy--Comes in the form of high voltage electrocution or a lightning strike

d. Barometric Energy-- Can result from sudden radical changes in pressure, often occurring during diving or flying.


Study of physiology and mechanics of a living organism using the tools of mechanical engineering. This provides a way of analyzing the mechanisms and results of trauma sustained by the human body.


The study of the relationships among speed, mass, and direction of force, and the injuries caused by these. The knowledge of kinetics can help predict injury patterns found in a patient.
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