Nursing Review Issue 2 March-April 2022 - Page 24

clinical practice
clinical practice

Suffer the children

Improving quality of life and recovery outcomes for injured children .
By Tona Gillen

While Kasey Chambers was inspired to write the song entitled ‘ Not Pretty Enough ’ about her feeling that she did not fit in to the music industry , many injured children can relate to the sentiment of not being pretty enough : feeling that they no longer fit into society as they once did , particularly those who have cosmetic changes or scaring or those that have physical limitations as a result of their injury .

Kasey describes her feelings of vulnerability with an array of introspective questions , such as ‘ Do I cry too much ?’ ‘ Should I try harder ?’ Trauma patients often gain perspective and maturity following their injury and they may struggle with society ’ s superficial value of physical appearance , which may impact peer status or popularity .
TRAUMA Broadly speaking , trauma patients are children who have sustained physical injury , ranging from minor trauma that has resolved within a short period of time to major trauma that can leave children with
22 | nursingreview . com . au lifelong disabilities that require ongoing care . Minor injury tends to have self-limiting consequences and heal and repair quickly . Major injury is often described as having life-altering effect , with approximately 10 per cent of all patients sustaining an enduring physical disability or significant scarring .
Physical trauma is usually treated with a well-established systematic clinical approach to the injured individual , and high rates of survival are in part due to the benefits of high-cost equipment and technology .
However , this is just one trauma domain . There are at least two other realms of ‘ trauma ’ which are best managed with a tailor-made approach after individual assessments are conducted .
The second type of trauma is psychological trauma . This is the emotional impact of an event that may ultimately affect the amygdala in the brain of these children , and in severe cases this may impair their neurophysiological and cognitive function .
The third type of trauma is referred to as medical trauma . This is a set of psychological and physiological responses related to medical procedures . It is usually associated with pain , injury , serious illness and frightening medical treatments . While these are distinct domains , they may overlap in all three
“ Many injured children feel they no longer fit into society as they once did .
areas for children that have sustained a significant injury , depending on the event itself , the experience of the event , and the effect of the event on the person .
STATS In Australia , approximately 85-90 per cent of all trauma ( adults and children ) is blunt trauma , predominately secondary to falls , sports injuries , bicycle injury , burns and motor vehicles incidents . Penetrating injures are rare at approximately 10 per cent , these may include wounds from firearms , or secondary to stabbing or impaling objects .
Children are vulnerable to certain types of injuries depending on their age , reflecting their stage of development . In 2015 – 17 , the leading causes of death in children aged 1 – 14 were injuries , followed by cancer and diseases of the nervous system ( AIHW ). It has been estimated that for every child that is fatally injured , 10 children will survive major trauma , but endure long-term disability requiring hospitalisation and medical care ( AIHW – Pointer 2014 / WHO 2008 ).