Items in AFP with MESH term: Wounds and Injuries

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Electrosurgery for the Skin - Article

ABSTRACT: The purposes of electrosurgery are to destroy benign and malignant lesions, control bleeding, and cut or excise tissue. The major modalities in electrosurgery are electrodesiccation, fulguration, electrocoagulation, and electrosection. Electrosurgery can be used for incisional techniques that produce full-thickness excision of nevi, for shave techniques that produce partial-thickness removal of superficial lesions, and for removing vascular lesions such as hemangiomas or pyogenic granulomas. The correct output power can be determined by starting low and increasing the power until the desired outcome is attained (destruction, coagulation, or cutting). Smaller cherry angiomas can be electrocoagulated lightly. Larger cherry angiomas may be easier to treat by shaving them first, then electrocoagulating or desiccating the base. The elevated portion of pyogenic granulomas can be shaved off with a scalpel or a loop electrode using a cutting/coagulation current. The base of the lesion is curetted to remove the remaining tissue and then electrodesiccated. Complications such as burns, shocks, and transmission of infection can be prevented by careful use of the electrosurgical equipment.

The Mattress Sutures: Vertical, Horizontal, and Corner Stitch - Article

ABSTRACT: The interrupted vertical and horizontal mattress suture techniques are two of the most commonly used skin closure methods. These mattress sutures promote wound edge eversion and less prominent scarring. Vertical and horizontal mattress sutures allow for skin edges to be closed under tension when wound edges have to be brought together over a distance. The corner stitch, a variation of the horizontal mattress suture, is commonly used for closure of angled skin flaps or wounds. Although mattress sutures can produce surface scarring or "railroad marks," early removal of these sutures can limit this damage.

Prevention of Unintentional Childhood Injuries - Article

ABSTRACT: Injuries are the leading cause of death in children and teenagers in the United States. The leading causes of unintentional injury vary by age and include drowning, poisoning, suffocation, fires, burns, falls, and motor vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian-related crashes. Most injuries are preventable by modifying the child's environment (e.g., use of stair gates) and having parents engage in safety practices (e.g., keeping matches or lighters out of reach of children). Effective injury prevention methods include the use of childproof caps on medications and household poisons, age-appropriate restraints in motor vehicles (i.e., car seats, booster seats, seat belts), bicycle helmets, and a four-sided fence with a locked gate around residential swimming pools.

Snowboarding Injuries - Article

ABSTRACT: Snowboarding is a popular winter sport that involves riding a single board down a ski slope or on a half-pipe snow ramp. Compared with injuries resulting from traditional alpine skiing, snowboarding injuries occur more frequently in the upper extremities and ankles and less frequently in the knees. Different types of snowboard equipment, rider stance and snowboarding activity tend to result in different types of injury. Snowboarder's ankle, a fracture of the lateral talus, must be considered in a snowboarder with a "severe ankle sprain" that has not responded to treatment. Risk of injury may be lowered by using protective equipment, such as a helmet and wrist guards.

Protecting the Health and Safety of Working Teenagers - Article

ABSTRACT: More than one third of high school students work during the school year, and many more are employed during the summer months. Teenage workers face a variety of health and safety hazards. Occupational injury and illness are largely preventable, and family physicians can play a crucial role in this prevention effort by advising adolescents about common workplace dangers. Physicians who sign work permits and provide ongoing health care to teenagers should counsel them and their parents or guardians about the benefits and risks of work and discuss the regulations governing jobs that are prohibited for adolescents, work hours, protective measures and workers' compensation benefits.

Evaluation of the Acutely Limping Child - Article

ABSTRACT: A limp may be defined as any asymmetric deviation from a normal gait pattern. The differential diagnosis of a limp includes trauma, infection, neoplasia and inflammatory, congenital, neuromuscular or developmental disorders. Initially, a broad differential diagnosis should be considered to avoid overlooking less common conditions such as diskitis or psoas abscess. In any patient with a complaint of knee or thigh pain, an underlying hip condition should be considered. The patient's age can further narrow the differential diagnosis, because certain disease entities are age-specific. Vigilance is warranted in conditions requiring emergent treatment such as septic hip. The challenge to the family physician is to identify the cause of the limp and determine if further observation or immediate diagnostic work-up is indicated.

The Geriatric Patient: A Systematic Approach to Maintaining Health - Article

ABSTRACT: The number of persons 65 years of age and older continues to increase dramatically in the United States. Comprehensive health maintenance screening of this population is becoming an important task for primary care physicians. As outlined by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, assessment categories unique to elderly patients include sensory perception and injury prevention. Geriatric patients are at higher risk of falling for a number of reasons, including postural hypotension, balance or gait impairment, polypharmacy (more than three prescription medications) and use of sedative-hypnotic medications. Interventional areas that are common to other age groups but have special implications for older patients include immunizations, diet and exercise, and sexuality. Cognitive ability and mental health issues should also be evaluated within the context of the individual patient's social situation-not by screening all patients but by being alert to the occurrence of any change in mental function. Using an organized approach to the varied aspects of geriatric health, primary care physicians can improve the care that they provide for their older patients.

Bicycle-Related Injuries - Article

ABSTRACT: Bicycle riding is a popular form of recreation among persons of all ages, and related injuries cause significant morbidity and mortality. Most injuries occur in males and are associated with riding at high speed; most serious injuries and fatalities result from collisions with motor vehicles. Although superficial soft tissue injuries and musculoskeletal trauma are the most common injuries, head injuries are responsible for most fatalities and long-term disabilities. Overuse injuries may contribute to a variety of musculoskeletal complaints, compression neuropathies, perineal and genital complaints. Physicians treating such patients should consider medical factors, as well as suggest adjusting various components of the bicycle, such as the seat height and handlebars. Encouraging bicycle riders to wear helmets is key to preventing injuries; protective clothing and equipment, and general safety advice also may offer some protection.

Splints and Casts: Indications and Methods - Article

ABSTRACT: Management of a wide variety of musculoskeletal conditions requires the use of a cast or splint. Splints are noncircumferential immobilizers that accommodate swelling. This quality makes splints ideal for the management of a variety of acute musculoskeletal conditions in which swelling is anticipated, such as acute fractures or sprains, or for initial stabilization of reduced, displaced, or unstable fractures before orthopedic intervention. Casts are circumferential immobilizers. Because of this, casts provide superior immobilization but are less forgiving, have higher complication rates, and are generally reserved for complex and/or definitive fracture management. To maximize benefits while minimizing complications, the use of casts and splints is generally limited to the short term. Excessive immobilization from continuous use of a cast or splint can lead to chronic pain, joint stiffness, muscle atrophy, or more severe complications (e.g., complex regional pain syndrome). All patients who are placed in a splint or cast require careful monitoring to ensure proper recovery. Selection of a specific cast or splint varies based on the area of the body being treated, and on the acuity and stability of the injury. Indications and accurate application techniques vary for each type of splint and cast commonly encountered in a primary care setting. This article highlights the different types of splints and casts that are used in various circumstances and how each is applied.

Protecting American Families from Injury - Editorials

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