A broken bone or fracture is not always a simple matter. In some cases, a fracture can put someone’s life at risk. Even the simplest fracture typically requires professional medical evaluation for a formal diagnosis and then professional setting, if not surgical intervention, for the bone to knit properly.
Compound or open fractures are not particularly common, but they can occur during the intense force of a motor vehicle collision. What sets a compound fracture apart from more typical broken bones is that the broken bone pushes its way through the skin.
There are two serious medical concerns associated with open fractures that necessitate immediate medical assistance.
Anytime you break the skin, the possibility of pathogens entering the human body and causing infection arises. When the wound goes all the way to the bone, the potential for a deep and hard-to-treat infection arises.
People can end up exposed to dangerous bacteria and viruses at the scene of their injury or while seeking treatment in a medical facility. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria tend to thrive in medical settings and can cause secondary infections that derail someone’s recovery after a traumatic injury.
The potential for severe infection is so high that even in cases where the physical trauma to the bone and surrounding tissue does not require surgery, an operation is still necessary to properly clean the bone, the wound and the nearby tissue. Patients often also require immunization boosters and medical observation after their surgery to watch for warning signs of infection.
Depending on the bone broken and the location where it exited the body, the blood loss associated with an open fracture can put someone’s life at immediate risk. Even when the blood loss is not extreme, it can lead to loss of consciousness and other symptoms if someone does not receive timely medical intervention. Transfusions may be necessary in some cases to help someone recover from the blood loss they experience because of the broken bone.
Recognizing how a major fracture could lead to Serious medical expenses can help those responding to a traumatic injury from a car crash handle their insurance claims and other requests for compensation appropriately.