COMPOUND fractures are emergencies. They require treatment promptly, for time is of the essence. Débridement is the keystone of the treatment.
The ideal treatment of the compound fracture devolves logically in a well-established chronological order. This begins with adequate first aid at the site of the accident, essentially splinting. Rapid, but safe, transportation to the place of definitive treatment ensues. Appropriate assessment of the victim's general well-being and measures for assuring its stability begin with first aid and are intensified on arrival of the patient in the emergency room. Local injuries are quickly but carefully evaluated. They are then treated and the all-important débridement performed in the case of compound fracture. Finally immobilization of the fracture is accomplished by whichever of many possible methods is best suited.
Why is débridement paramount? This can best be answered by observing that, while all infected wounds are at least unfortunate, infected fractures are
Goodsell JO. DÉBRIDEMENT IS PARAMOUNT: GUEST EDITORIAL. JAMA. 1959;169(17):2032–2033. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03000340064017
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