Open fracture wounds

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Treating Wounds with Exposed Bone

Wounds that expose bone can be daunting, but with proper training and knowledge, you can manage them effectively. The key priority is to control bleeding.

Assessing the Wound

When you encounter a wound with exposed bone, assess the situation carefully. You may be able to see pieces of bone, and if you put direct pressure on them, you could actually be pushing down on bone ends. Focus on controlling bleeding first.

Using a Tourniquet or Trauma Dressing

If the wound is bleeding severely, you may need to apply a tourniquet. Place it around the limb above the injury site and still below the elbow. If the bleeding is not severe, a trauma dressing may be enough. Be aware that a conventional first aid dressing may not be able to cope with the amount of blood flow.

Managing Exposed Bone

Exposed bone poses a high risk of infection, so it is important to get the person to the hospital as soon as possible. Apply direct pressure around the injury, avoiding bone ends. Cut a slot in the dressing if necessary to allow the bone to come through the dressing and apply pressure onto the injury without pushing down on the bone.

Be Prepared and Stay Calm

Dealing with wounds that expose bone may seem overwhelming, but remember that your training will kick in. Be prepared, stay calm, and focus on controlling bleeding and managing the wound. Your actions can help save lives.