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Poly Trauma

Polytrauma occurs when a person experiences injury to multiple body parts and organs, caused by a traumatic or catastrophic event. This results in a combination of disabling conditions, such as Amputation, Multiple fractures, Spinal cord injuries, Traumatic brain injuries, Peripheral nerve injuries, Burns, Internal injuries, Pain, Cognitive, Visual, Sensory and Hearing impairments. Polytrauma injuries commonly lead to Physical, Psychological, Cognitive, and Psychosocial functional impairments and disabilities. Due to the severity and complexity of the injuries, a multi-disciplinary team approach is essential. In the acute stages, the emergency medical care team play an invaluable role. Once your family member is medically stable, he/she will be transferred to our rehabilitation facility, for comprehensive in-patient rehabilitation. Rehabilitation of a polytrauma patient extends beyond acute management and focuses on getting your family member back into their home and community. A detailed assessment is completed by the rehabilitation team, including your Doctor, Nurse, Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Speech Therapist, Social Worker, Nurse, and Orthotist/Prosthetist. Each member of the team performs a different and equally beneficial role in the management of your family member to facilitate optimal functional outcomes and re-integration into pre-morbid roles within the home and community. The physiotherapist will focus on restoration of physical impairments including range of movement in affected joints, global and specific muscle strength, pain, balance and endurance. Mobility limitations are common in the polytrauma patient, and physiotherapy focuses on return to standing and walking where appropriate. The occupational therapist takes a holistic view at your family member’s everyday participation in tasks and how their specific injury has impaired their ability to engage in these tasks. The focus is on improving their level of independence in self-care (i.e. dressing, toileting, washing), home maintenance (i.e. cooking, shopping), hobbies, and in some cases, work and driving. Compensatory techniques are taught where appropriate, and assistive devices provided to promote your family member’s level of independence if needed. When indicated, home visits are conducted to make recommendations for environmental adaptations that are required to promote optimal independence in the home environment and recommendations regarding equipment required are also made. The occupational therapy service may also include splinting and the fabrication of pressure garments when indicated. Before discharge to the home, home exercise programmes, equipment and out patient therapy arrangements are made, to ensure a safe discharge. Polytrauma management incorporates an integrated team approach, with you and your family member as integral members of the team, to ensure return to social, professional and personal life roles.

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