Broken bones are among the most common on-the-job injuries, and they can take considerable time to heal. While a simple fracture may heal within six to eight weeks, it can take months for more complicated fractures to heal, and some injuries may never allow the affected person to fully regain the use of damaged body parts.
Falls are a major cause of fractures, but all kinds of accidents can result in broken bones. No matter what type of work an employee is performing, a fracture is always possible. While those performing physical labor are more vulnerable to broken bones, an office worker can just as easily trip on a slippery area and suffer a fracture.
Different types of fractures have different outcomes. A non-displaced fracture generally has the best odds of complete healing. This type of break involves a bone breaking, but not moving out of alignment.
More serious types of fractures include:
- Displaced fractures: The bones snap into two or more parts, and no longer align.
- Open fractures: The broken bone comes out through the skin. Besides severe pain, infection is a serious risk for such fractures.
- Closed fracture: The broken bone does not protrude through the skin.
- Comminuted fractures: The bone breaks into many small pieces.
There are additional risks, besides infection, when it come to fractures. Some victims may suffer a great deal of blood loss. Depending on the area of the break, internal organs may become affected. For example, a broken rib can penetrate a lung, causing a life-threatening situation.
If a fracture is suspected, emergency medical treatment is required.
If a worker suffers a potential fracture on the job, call 911 immediately. Do not try to move the victim, as this can exacerbate the fracture. If another employee has first aid training, they can use a splint to keep the fractured leg or arm immobilized, but that is not something a person without such training should attempt.
If a fracture is complicated, and that is often obvious by the twisted appearance of a limb, only a paramedic or similar first responder should attempt splinting. If there is bleeding, put pressure on the area with a clean towel or gauze. In the case of bone protrusion, put pressure on the wound edges.
Fractures and Workers’ Compensation
Once treated at the hospital, make sure your injury is reported to your employer as soon as possible, if that was not already done at the time of the accident. Sometimes, workers will delay treatment of certain fractures, such as fingers, toes or ribs, frequently because they are uncertain they suffered a fracture, or figure there is nothing much to do about it. But that is a mistake.
If you suspect you may have suffered a fracture, go to the hospital. An X-ray will confirm whether or not a bone is broken. Failure to seek prompt medical attention may affect your ability to receive Workers’ Compensation for an on-the-job injury, as the insurance company may try to claim the injury was not work-related.
Wilmington Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Represent Those Injured on the Job
If you or a loved one suffer a fracture or other serious injury while on the job, you need the services of the experienced Wilmington workplace injury lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. Call us today at 302-888-1221 or complete our online form to schedule a free initial consultation.