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EMS World. 2012 Feb;41(2):36-43.

Managing unstable musculoskeletal injuries:.

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Vitalink/Airlink, Wilmington, NC, USA.


Musculoskeletal injuries are commonly treated by prehospital providers. The American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma supports the early management of musculoskeletal injuries including analgesia, repositioning and splint application. Even when patients have multiple injuries, it is important to apply splints to reduce internal bleeding, pain and the potential for fatty embolisms. Strongly consider administering analgesia to any patient with a suspected musculoskeletal injury; the majority of these patients go on to receive analgesia in the hospital while their time in the ambulance is likely the most uncomfortable period of their care. When applying a splint, remember that effective splints are complete, compact and comfortable.

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