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All About Physical Injury

The human body is prone to physical injury. Mishaps can impart injuries of different kinds depending on the actions indulged by a person. It generally happens due to the carelessness of the injured person or someone else. In this section, we will discuss the types of physical trauma and the specific causes behind them.

What is a Physical Injury?

Physical injury, also known as physical trauma, can happen due to an external force. If it is a major injury, it can result in disability or even death. It generally happens when a person could not calculate the physical factors that can cause trauma. For instance, a person using a hammer can accidentally strike his thumb and get injured. It happened due to improper adjustment and misjudgment of the cognitive functions. It can also be caused by an external natural force or another person. Let us discuss the different types of physical trauma.

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What is a Mechanical Injury?

Physical injuries happen due to mechanical trauma, cold, heat, electricity, pressure, and/or radiation. Mechanical trauma can cause haemorrhage, fracture, or infection. It can happen from using tools, falling from a significant height, or objects falling on a person resulting in bruises, crushing, blows, haemorrhage, fracture, cuts, amputation, etc. The causes of injury can be anything but it is generally a mechanical impact of objects.

The injuries might not reflect right away after a mechanical blow lands on a person. Bleeding can occur later either externally or internally. The damage that happened is either revealed before or later when an infection occurs inside.

What are Injuries Due to Heat or Cold?

One of the prime categories of physical injury happens due to excessive heat transfer to and from a person’s body. Prolonged exposure to heated or cold bodies or an environment can cause such injuries. For instance, one can get burned by exposing his hands to a flame. One can also get frostbite in a very cold environment.

In frostbites, a person suffers from significant loss of heat due to malnutrition, improper clothing, and insufficient blood flow to that affected region. Prolonged exposure to low temperatures can result in an alarming situation where a body can go to hypothermic shock. Blood starts concentrating closer to the vital organs to maintain their physiological functions resulting in anoxia in the skin and peripheral tissues. It slowly progresses to the small blood vessels causing swelling and accumulation of fluid underneath the skin. On more cooling of the blood, the vital organs stop working and cause death.

Burns are caused due to prolonged exposure to heat. Burns are categorized in degrees depending on the severity. Sunburn is a first-degree burn. Hot oil spills can cause second-degree burns. A third-degree burn can cause grave problems to a damaged human body.

Injuries from Electrical Discharge

Unprecedented or unnoticed electrical discharge can also cause a physical injury. The severity of the damage is determined by the voltage of electrical discharge passing through an individual’s body or organs. It also depends on the time of exposure. For instance, a lightning strike will immediately damage and kill a person due to high voltage. Small shocks are not harmful but can cause internal injuries if it extends. Improper insulation generally causes electrical injuries while working with electrical appliances.

Injuries Due to Pressure Change

Drastic pressure change can also cause physical trauma. It might sound implausible but a sudden huge change in pressure can create shockwaves that hit a body quite hard. For instance, a blast can create shockwaves that impart physical injuries. Rapid atmospheric pressure changes can also cause injuries. The shockwaves are generally passed by the medium around us. It can be water or air. The body gets violently squeezed and over-expanded instantaneously causing physical trauma. This happens due to the exposure to compressive shockwaves created by pressure changes.

Injuries Due to Radiation

Prolonged radiation exposure can impart injuries. When judiciously used, radiation is used as a therapy. Uncalculated or uncontrolled radiation can cause physical injuries. Radiation waves are made of invisible superfast particles that impact the cells imparting trauma. It can also be high-energy electromagnetic waves such as X-rays and gamma rays. A damage body will show burns due to ionization of the cellular components. The impact can also surface years later as deformity or cancer. The severity of the case depends on the duration of exposure and the energy of the radiation waves.

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These are the different types of physical trauma faced by the human body in different cases. The strength and exposure time of the physical cause decides the effect of the physical trauma. Study the different reasons for physical injuries and learn why a human body suffers from such impacts. Understanding the trauma also helps us to design a treatment for the affected person.

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FAQs on Physical Injury

1.  What Do You Mean by Physical Trauma?

Ans: Any harm imparted by an external force, entity, or wave can result in physical damage. This damage is called physical injury. The cause of the damage is determined and the treatment of the injuries is started accordingly. It helps the person to recuperate from the injuries faster.

2.  How are the Different Types of Physical Injury Defined?

Ans: The different types of physical trauma are defined by the cause. It can be a mechanical blow imparted by an uncontrolled tool. It can be due to excessive flow of heat causing a burn. It can be a shock received from a faulty appliance. It can also be because of a shockwave travelling fast and hitting a person imparting external and internal injuries. The definition of the injury tells how it happened and what can be done to avoid them.

3.  Why Should We Study Physical Injury?

Ans: We study different types of physical injuries to understand the cause and to design precautions. It helps us to reduce the risk of injury in the future. It also helps us to learn the impact and to design a treatment plan for a damaged human body. The study of injuries helps us unravel the cause and to provide emergency support.

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