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An open fracture could leave your life changed

Like most people, you understand that car accidents can have dire outcomes. Even if a person survives a serious crash, severe injuries could still have occurred that have life-changing outcomes. These injuries could even pose a threat of developing infections or other complications that could only make the situation worse.

Open fractures, or compound fractures, have a particular risk of developing infections as well as being difficult to treat. Unfortunately, this type of injury could easily occur during a car accident and have tremendous impacts on the injured party.

What are the risks of an open fracture?

You likely already know that an open fracture involves the bone breaking and coming through the outer layer of skin. What you may not know is that due to the amount of bacteria on the skin, an injury of this type is immediately considered contaminated. The level of contamination depends on various factors, including soft-tissue damage, the surrounding environment where the injury took place and the severity of the injury itself. Even so, the bacteria on the skin remain the most likely contaminant.

When the injury does become contaminated, an infection could easily and quickly set in. Infections could cause delays in healing, require additional treatments and have lasting effects. Infection is not the only complication, and the more severe the injury, the higher the chance of additional issues.

How are open fractures treated?

In hopes of lessening the likelihood of infection and further contamination, an operation is typically needed in order to clean the injury. The timing of the surgery could vary as some medical professionals feel it needs to take place within a few hours of the injury's occurrence and others believe a 24-hour window exists.

If a bone infection occurs, additional surgeries will likely need to take place. Medications, including antibiotics, will also likely be needed for an extended period. Due to the difficulty of treating a bone infection, many doctors hope to treat the injury early enough to prevent this complication; unfortunately, early treatment does not always have this desired outcome.

What if someone else was at fault for the injury?

If you have suffered an open fracture in a car accident caused by another person, you may have reason to file a personal injury claim against that individual. A successful claim could help you obtain monetary awards that could go toward your medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, lost wages and other damages suffered as a result of your serious injury.

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