Multiple trauma occurs when a person experiences more than one simultaneous injury, such as multiple broken bones, lacerations, damage to internal organs such as the liver, spleen, kidney, etc. Typically the result of car accidents, crush injuries and falls, a multiple trauma incident can require extensive medical treatment and attentive medical management.
These injuries affect many systems at once (musculoskeletal, neurological and psychological) and treatment at a designated trauma center is usually advised. Patients can be immobilized for weeks or months due to risks of subsequent muscular and cardiovascular complications.
Multiple Trauma Treatment and Complications
Attending medical teams will watch for red flags like signs of sepsis, electrolyte disturbances, heart failure, arrhythmias, acute respiratory distress syndrome and bleeding during the course of treatment. Along with high rates of infection, non-healing fractures, and other complications, it is common for multiple trauma patients to struggle with the overall impact of their injuries and they may benefit from psychological and social support.
Due to the many body systems involved, it is common to have multiple specialists participate in the care process. It is especially important, therefore, to carefully coordinate the medical care and manage information transfer during handoffs.