The victim of an auto accident brought into the emergency room presents one of the most difficult and frustrating problems a physician must face.
The patient is often unconscious. Usually, his history is not available, nor is the exact nature of the accident known. In addition to obvious injuries, such as gross fractures and lacerations, there may be other less obvious internal injuries needing immediate attention.
"The necessary instantaneous decisions may be as difficult for the 20-year practitioner as for the less experienced physician," a speaker commented at a recent meeting of the American College of Surgeons in Bal Harbour, Fla.
What diagnostic procedures should take preference initially to assess the extent of the injuries? Do vasodilating drugs in treatment of shock have a place in the emergency room? Without patient information concerning previous tetanus immunization and diseases such as diabetes and cardiac disorders, what other prophylactic and therapeutic measures