Broken bones, like many kinds of traumatic injuries, can vary substantially in how severe they are. Factors such as the health of the person, the location of the fracture and the kind of force involved in the incident will all impact how severe a fracture is. The kind of break will also play a role in its severity.
The most basic kind of broken bone is a simple fracture, which involves a break in just one place, usually with a relatively clean line. Open fractures, also sometimes called compound fractures, are a much more dangerous and frightening form of broken bones that people may suffer in a car crash or other traumatic accident, like a very bad fall.
What characteristics define an open fracture?
As you may be able to infer from the name, an open fracture occurs when broken bones also tear through the skin, exposing the bone and nearby tissues to the open-air.
Why are open fractures so dangerous?
Open fractures create additional risk when compared with simple fractures. First of all, a person can bleed substantially due to an open fracture, making blood loss a very real risk. Additionally, people are more likely to panic and potentially go into shock when they have visually dramatic injuries.
Finally, breaking the skin means increasing the risk of infection. People with open fractures can wind up with severe infections that can be even worse than the broken bone itself. Those who suffer open fractures or similarly severe injuries in car crashes or on someone else’s property may be able to seek compensation to cover the cost of their injuries and other losses.