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When a bone is broken, or fractured, it affects not only blood production, but there are also complications associated with the muscles, tendons, nerves and blood vessels which are attached, or are close, to the bone.

Fractures are generally classified as:
  • Open — where the bone has fractured and penetrated the skin leaving a wound.
  • Closed — where the bone has fractured but has no obvious external wound.
  • Complicated — which may involve damage to vital organs and major blood vessels as a result of the fracture.
Fractures may be caused by a number of things:
  • Direct Force, where force is applied sufficiently to cause the bone to fracture at the point of impact.
  • Indirect Force, where force or kinetic energy, applied to a large, strong bone, is transmitted up the limb, causing the weakest bones to fracture.
    Spontaneous or spasm-induced fractures are associated with disease and/or muscular spasms. These are usually associated with the elderly, and people with specific diseases affecting the bones.

    Care should always be exercised when dealing with an elderly casualty, as their bones are prone to fracture easily, often in several places. Always suspect a fracture if an elderly person complains of pain or loss of power to a limb. Be especially aware of fractures near the hip. These are common in the elderly. Young children are prone to fractures.

Signs and Symptoms of Fractures:
  • Pale, cool, clammy skin.
  • Rapid, weak pulse.
  • Pain at the site.
  • Tenderness.
  • Loss of power to limb.
  • Associated wound and blood loss.
  • Nausea.
  • Deformity.
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