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Acquired Diseases from Physical Injuries



A large number of serious and often complicated affections happen to the body from common accidental causes, by which I mean causes brought about by something which man himself does, or is doing, or has done.

Various names are given to distinguish the nature of these accidents when they occur. If the body has received a blow in any part by which the surface is bruised but not broken, a con tusion is said to have been inflicted. If the surface is actually divided or broken, the term wound is applied. If a tendon or muscle is displaced or injured, so that movement is interfered with, sprain is the word employed to express what has taken place. If a bone is broken, fracture is the term applied. If a bone is displaced at a joint, a dislocation is said to have occurred. If a foreign substance is carried into any part of the body and re mains there it is said to be impaction. If from a wound an open ing is formed communicating with some other part or organ, a fistula is declared to have been formed. If an internal organ like the bowel or the heart is torn as by a blow, rupture is the expres sion by which the result of the accident is defined. Should there be protrusion of a part of an organ from the cavity which con tains it the word hernia explains the fact. Should the skin or mucous membrane be rubbed from the parts beneath the term abrasion is applied. Should the same surfaces be injured by fire burns are said to have been inflicted; should they be injured by heated water scalds.

These are the more general terms made use of in relation to common accidents, but they are often modified in order to express some additional effect. Thus a wound is simple if it be merely a clean cut; perforating if it go in deeply as into a cavity; lacerated if it be jagged; contused if it be connected with bruising or crush.

Fractures and dislocations of bones are simple when unattended with surrounding injury. But, when the fractured or dislocated bone is exposed at the broken part or its ends make their way into some adjacent organ, then the fractures or dislocations are said to be compound.

Injuries inflicted on the body receive also special names ac cording to the manner in which they are produced. When they occur without foresight or intention they are called, simply, acci dental; when they are produced for purposes of punishment, as by the infliction of the cat, they are called judicial; when they are inflicted by one person on another, they are called homicidal; when they are inflicted by a person on himself, or herself, they are called self-inflicted or suicidal; when they occur in conflict of armies or navies they are called injuries or wounds of battle, and are more minutely defined as gunshot wounds, sword wounds, bayonet wounds, and the like.

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