Acute Hemorrhage Following a Femur Fracture
Broken bones can lead to numerous complications such as severe blood loss. Like other injuries, bone fractures range widely in their severity. Some fractures don’t require a cast while others can be life-threatening. Femur fractures, which is a break in the thigh bone, can be serious. According to statistics published in the Journal of Injury on bone fractures:
- About 400 out of every 100,000 people suffered a long bone fracture.
- Fractures were more common in adults than in children.
- Broken legs were more common than broken arms.
- Fractures in adults were far more likely to require surgical repair than fractures in children.
These numbers show that fractures are prevalent and can lead to serious complications. Furthermore, because of the size of the femur, severe fractures have a high rate of complications. One example is a life-threatening hemorrhage that can happen with large femur fractures.
Anatomy of the Upper Leg: The Femur
The femur is the bone that resides in the upper leg. The femur itself runs from the hip to the knee. Made up of multiple parts, some of the most commonly discussed parts of the femur include:
- The head of the femur
- The epiphyseal plate
- The bone marrow
In addition to the bony parts of the femur, many other essential structures run near the femur. There are several important blood vessels such as the femoral artery and the femoral vein. There are also numerous nerves that run through the upper leg such as the femoral nerve. If the femur is broken, these critical structures can be put at significant risk. If the blood vessels are damaged, this is where life-threatening blood loss can occur.
Hemorrhage Associated with a Femur Fracture
Femur fractures can occur in numerous ways. Even though many people associate injuries with sports and childhood accidents, it typically takes significantly more force to break a femur. Some of the most common ways in which someone might suffer a broken femur include:
- Motor vehicle collisions such as auto accidents, bicycle collisions, and motorcycle accidents.
- Traumatic slip and fall accidents such as those that occur on staircases or on slippery surfaces.
- Falls from a great height such as off of a roof or a balcony.
If the bone splinters into multiple pieces, the structures that reside near the femur are placed at risk. This means that a bone fragment could pierce the femoral artery. This can lead to life-threatening hemorrhage.
Treatment of Severe Blood Loss with a Femur Fracture
The biggest risk associated with a femur fracture hemorrhage is death from exsanguination. Because of this, the treatment focuses on replacing this lost blood and stopping the source of the bleeding. Some of the treatments will include:
- The administration of intravenous fluids such as normal saline or lactated ringers to replace the lost liquid volume.
- Giving blood transfusions to replace the lost blood.
- Administering epinephrine and other medications to try to keep the blood pressure and heart rate from dropping too low.
- Emergent surgery to stop the source of the bleed.
Importantly, surgery is typically the only way of stopping the bleeding. The other measures are simply stop-gaps to try and prevent acute hemorrhage, which can lead to death.
Watch YouTube Video: Fracture Femur Types. The educated video below describes the different types of femur fractures according to their location.
Contacting an Injury Lawyer
If a loved one requires surgery after a serious accident, it can be difficult to make decisions. For help, families should meet with a Sacramento femur fracture lawyer. Some of the benefits that an injury attorney is able to provide include:
- Reviewing records from the accident with families, making sure that every detail is analyzed closely.
- Helping families seek damages related to the accident, its injuries, and any emotional pain.
- Shifting a case to trial when necessary.
No family should face this difficult situation alone. Meeting with a Sacramento femur fracture lawyer can be helpful. You and your family could be owed a significant financial award.
Femur Fracture Lawyers in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a femur fracture lawyer in Sacramento. Acute blood loss following a femur fracture can be a life-threatening complication. If you or someone you care for has suffered a fracture of the femur in a significant accident, contact me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.
You can take a look at our verdicts or settlements here.
Image Attribution: Marionbrun on Pixabay.com
:dr 0p cha [cs 787]