How Do Open Fractures Occur?
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. Just as there are many different types of car crashes, there are also many kinds of bone fractures. These fractures are classified by their location, their severity, and the number of breaks. It can be helpful to figure out where and how these various types of fractures develop so that they can be avoided.
There are many different types of bone fractures that someone might suffer in a traumatic injury or accident. These fractures can occur in numerous locations, such as the femur and the humerus. A closed fracture is a fracture whose entirety is beneath the skin. While people might feel that their bone is broken, they cannot actually see the bone because the fracture is entirely underneath the skin’s surface. In contrast, an open fracture has a fragment (or more) of the bone protruding through the skin. This can create serious psychological trauma along with physical injury because the image of seeing one’s bone through the surface can be quite alarming. Also, open fractures carry more consequences than closed fractures because the potential for severe blood loss is significantly higher for open fractures than for closed fracture. Anatomically, open fractures also tend to be more severe. There is a higher chance for the bone to be displaced from its typical anatomical location, meaning that there is a greater chance that surgery will be required to correct the injury. Because the bone has broken through the skin, there is an instant portal for infection to develop over the injury site, another serious consequence. Finally, open fractures are also typically accompanied by higher amounts of pain. A literature review was conducted to analyze just how open fractures develop.
How Do These Fractures Develop?
A group of medical professionals perused the electronic literature looking for information regarding open fractures. They looked at studies going back fifteen years that listed a cause for open fractures in their research. Then, they compiled the data and analyzed it to look for trends. Some of the results that they found include:
Slip and Fall Injuries: Slip and fall injuries, while seemingly innocuous in children and young adults, were by far the most common cause of open fractures suffered in the research studies. Interestingly, most people who suffered open fractures in this type of accident were elderly. This is because elderly individuals are more likely to slip and fall (given their age, trouble seeing, and difficulty with mobility) and their bones tend to be weaker (leading to an increased incidence of fractures).
Auto Accidents: About a quarter of the open fractures happened due to auto accidents. Many people suffering open fractures in these accidents were younger adults. This is because younger adults are more likely to be on the road and also are more prone to being involved in auto accidents due to a lack of experience compared to their older counterparts. These are high-energy accidents that can also lead to multiple fractures at once, called polytrauma.
Pedestrian Injuries: Another common cause of open fractures was due to pedestrian injuries. These are high-energy accidents because the relative speed and weight of a car compared to that of a pedestrian creates a large difference and ease with which open fractures can be suffered. Children are part of this group. Children often forget to look both ways before crossing the street and are harder for drivers to see due to their short stature. Regardless, drivers always need to be on the lookout for pedestrians to prevent these tragic accidents from occurring.
Watch YouTube Video: Emergency Medical Care: How to Treat an Open Fracture During First Aid. In this video, an emergency medical technician provides some basic tips for treating open fractures.
Legal Assistance for Open Fractures
Open fractures can develop due to the negligence of someone else. Some of the potential issues that might arise in these accidents include:
- Improper Marking of Wet Surfaces: Before people accidentally slip and fall, a wet floor sign should be placed to warn people of a slick surface. If this sign is supposed to be there but is missing, leading to a slip and fall injury, this could mean that the accident happened due to negligence.
- Drunk Driving: If someone is driving while under the influence, this increases the opportunity for a serious accident to occur. This individual should be held responsible for the needless injuries that were suffered.
- Failure to Yield: Drivers should always yield to pedestrians crossing the street. When they fail to do so, tragedy can strike, and pedestrians can be seriously hurt or even killed.
Regardless of the cause, these are serious injuries that can create a significant amount of stress for everyone involved. Anyone who is going through these challenging times should know that legal assistance is available.
Personal Injury Lawyers in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. Traumatic accidents can cause severe consequences. If you or a loved one has sustained an open fracture as a consequence of a traumatic accident, call me today at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.
I’m a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum of the California chapter.
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