Early Rehabilitation

In Conflicts and Disasters


The world’s first clinical guide and corresponding suite of e-learning resources developed specifically to support the early rehabilitation of patients injured in disasters and conflicts is now complete and freely available for download. 

Early rehabilitation today is recognized as an integral component of patients’ recovery from traumatic injuries sustained in conflicts and disasters, yet rehabilitation professionals in areas of conflict and disaster previously did not have the skills needed to treat those injuries. 

The new suite of resources provides these professionals with the knowledge to adapt their practices to work safely and effectively with patients in the early days of their injuries in an emergency setting.


Content by chapter

  • 1. Introduction
    By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

    • Understand the different types of conflicts and disasters and the injury patterns that result from them
    • Understand what early rehabilitation is and its role in conflict and disaster settings
    • Understand the importance of preparedness for rehabilitation professionals
    • Understand who is involved in conflict and disaster responses
  • 2. Key challenges
    By the end of this chapter you should be able to understand the challenges faced in delivering early rehabilitation in conflicts and disasters, including:

    • Managing large numbers of patients with limited resources
    • Adhering to key professional and humanitarian standards
    • Knowing who might be more vulnerable in conflicts and disasters
    • Keeping yourself safe and well
  • 3. Patient assessment and treatment - the basics
    By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

    • Understand the importance of infection prevention and control in conflicts and disasters and the role of a rehabilitation professional in this
    • Have the knowledge to undertake a generic early rehabilitation assessment
    • Understand why assessment and treatment approaches may differ in conflict and disaster settings
    • Be aware of general key clinical management themes, including pain management, wound infections and missed injuries
  • 4. Fractures
    By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

    • Understand fracture pathology, fracture classification, and implications for early rehabilitation
    • Complete an assessment of an acute fracture, including identifying complications
    • Plan and deliver early rehabilitation of fractures
    • Provide education and advice regarding recovery and secondary complications of fractures
  • 5. Peripheral nerve injuries
    By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

    • Demonstrate a basic understanding of peripheral nerve injury (PNI) pathology and classification
    • Perform an assessment for a patient with a PNI
    • Develop a problem list and a treatment plan for a patient with a PNI
    • Develop a realistic timeline of recovery and avoid secondary complications for a patient with a PNI
  • 6. Amputees
    By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

    • Gain an understanding of an amputation
    • Carry out an assessment of a patient with an amputation (pre- and post-amputation phase)
    • Understand the complications associated with amputations
    • Provide early rehabilitation for a patient with an amputation
  • 7. Acquires brain injuries
    By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

    • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of acquired brain injury (ABI)
    • Perform a basic assessment for a patient with an ABI
    • Develop a problem list for a patient with an ABI
    • Develop and deliver a basic rehabilitation plan for a patient with an ABI
  • 8. Spinal cord injuries
    By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

    • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of a spinal cord injury (SCI)
    • Perform a basic assessment for patients presenting with SCI, or possible SCI, including complication monitoring
    • Develop a problem list for a patient with an SCI
    • Develop and deliver a basic rehabilitation plan for a patient with an SCI
  • 9. Burns
    By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

    • Demonstrate knowledge of a burn
    • Perform a basic acute assessment of a burn
    • Understand the surgical management of a burn
    • Develop and deliver an acute rehabilitation treatment plan of a burn

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