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Broken bones can be deadly or cause lasting injuries

When you think of a broken bone, you probably don't imagine someone coming close to death or passing away from it. People break bones every day, and many have few, if any, complications.

In a car crash, you are at a higher risk of breaking bones in ways that could lead to complications. For example, if you break your leg, it's possible the femoral artery could be severed and lead to excessive bleeding.

How can broken bones put your life at risk?

The main way a broken bone puts your life at risk is if it happens to cut into a major artery. As above, damage to the femoral artery, located in the leg, can cause a person to bleed out in minutes. If you see that you are bleeding from the leg where your bone is protruding, tie a tourniquet around your leg tightly above the injury. Try to place the wound above the level of the heart to slow the bleeding.

Broken bones that are not treated right away or that protrude from the skin could become infected. It's important to have the bone set into its correct position and to take the appropriate medications to avoid infection.

What are some other symptoms of broken bones?

If your bone isn't breaking the skin, you may not be sure if it's broken. Some common signs include swelling, tingling, bruising and pain. The area might become visibly misshapen, which is a sign that you need to seek medical help right away.

While many broken bones can be treated locally at urgent care facilities, you should go with the emergency medical team to the hospital. This will help you get the quickest relief from your injuries while the doctors and nurses get a better idea of the injuries you've suffered as a result of the collision.

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