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Diagnosis and initial management

When you arrive to the Emergency Room, the doctor will examine you following the Advance Trauma Life Support (ATLS) guidelines.

You injuries may be superficial, but given the risk of other potential life threatening injuries, your doctor will act as indicated to detect or rule them out. First, your doctor will make sure your airway is not compromised (if you are able to talk, this is very unlikely). Then, your doctor will make sure breathing and ventilation are maintained. He will do so by inspecting, palpating and auscultating your chest.

Your doctor will rule out any disruption of the great vessels or other internal organs, and possible related complications, including hematomas or bleeding. Your arterial pressure, peripheral oxygen saturation and cardiac rhythm will be assessed too and depending on the injuries detected, the treatment may be started.

At this time, your doctor will indicate the appropriate diagnostic tests according to your condition and the suspected injuries.

If you need a surgical intervention, your doctor will inform you and your family of the indications, risks and benefits as well as expected recovery.

If the treatment is medical, your doctor will indicate it too, along with the needed follow up.

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