lacerations

 

Lacerations are tears/ skin 'splits' caused by blunt force trauma.

They are to be distinguished from cuts caused by sharp force trauma – incised wounds - including stab wounds. Wounds caused by heavy-bladed implements, such as machetes and meat cleavers produce wounds that have components of both blunt force and sharp force trauma – so-called ‘chopping’ injuries.

Lacerations are caused when a blunt object or surface impacts against the skin resulting in compression, crushing and splitting, or where a shearing force tears the skin and subcutaneous tissues.

 

Characteristics of blunt force lacerations vs sharp force incised wounds

 

Laceration

Incised Wound

Cause

Blunt force trauma

Sharp force trauma

Edges

Ragged/ irregular

Cleanly divided

Bruising/abrasions?

Yes

No

Depth

Variable

Can be uniform

Presence of tissue bridging?

Yes

No

Position

Particularly bony prominences

Any location

Presence of foreign bodies?

Often contaminated wounds

Usually clean (unless caused by glass)

Hairs

Intact hairs may cross the wound

Hairs are cleanly divided

Bony injury

May have associated fractures

Scoring or chipping of bone may occur

Healing

2° intention (with extensive scarring)

1° intention – good if wound edges apposed. Generally leaves fine scarring

 

scalp laceration from entaglement

 

Scalp lacerations can be caused when the hair is caught in moving machinery parts, or vehicle tyres/ wheels etc. The rotational movement tears the scalp from the skull, and forms a 'flap laceration'.

 

source: clarionsafety.com

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