Fractures are breaks or disturbances in bone tissue. Besides from that, they include chipped or cracked bones, as well as bones that are broken all the way through. Fractures are commonly caused by direct or indirect forces such as falls, accidents or diseases. Common fractures are classified as:
- Open fractures
- Closed fractures
Differences between open and closed fractures
It involved an open wound. Usually occur when the limb is severely bent, causing bone ends to tear the skin and also surrounding tissues. Open fractures can also happen when an object penetrates the skin and breaks the bone.
It leave the skin unbroken. The damaged bone doesn’t tear through the skin.
Open fractures are more serious because of the risk of infections and severe blood loss. Both fractures might be complicated once there is an associated injury involving the major nerve, organ or other structure caused by the broken bone ends.
Although fracture are rarely an immediate threat to life, but any fracture that involve large bone can cause shock as bones and soft tissue may bleed heavily internally or externally.
Signs and Symptoms
Fractures are not always obvious. It varies according to the affected area, severity of injury, involving bone and victims age. However, sign and symptoms often include:
- Pain (Intense pain at the injured part, pain get worse when moving it)
- Deformity (Bent at an unusual angle)
- Swelling or bruising
- Loss function of the affected area (Unable or having difficulty to move)
- Discolouration of skin around the affected area
- Numb (Altered sensation if nerve is compress)
- In open fractures, skin is torn or bleeding
First aid treatment
Main aim of immediate treatment for any fracture is to prevent movement at the injury site. The purpose is to lessen the pain, prevent further damage of soft tissue, reduce the risk of severe bleeding, reduce the possibility of circulation loss, prevent from closed fracture to open fracture.
- Stop the victim from further movement or activity.
- If it is open fracture, check for significant bleeding.
- Cover the wound with sterile dressing or clean non-stick / non-fluffy cloth.
- Apply pressure around the wound but not on the protruding bone.
- Secure the dressing with bandage.
- Keep the victim still to support the injured part by holding the joint above and below the injured area.
- Place padding around the injury for extra support. Towel, clothing blanket can be used.
- Once all the steps is being done, call 999 for an ambulance.
- Monitor victim conditions such as level of response and breathing while waiting for ambulance.
*Do not move the injured area until it is secure unless victim is in immediate danger.