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Sternum fractures in motor vehicle accidents

Individuals in Georgia who suffer from a fracture to the breastbone, also known as a sternum fracture, may have suffered it in a car wreck; around 60 to 90 percent of these types of fractures are caused in this way. Most often, a sternum fracture occurs in accidents in which the individual is not wearing a seat belt or is not protected by an air bag. It is most common in women and in adults over the age of 50.

Sometimes, sternum fractures are accompanied by rib fractures, and in such a case, there may be the danger of injury to the lungs and heart. In about one-quarter to one-half of cases, a sternum fracture and the other injuries associated with it results in death.

Signs that a sternum fracture has occurred include pain and inflammation in the area, difficulty breathing and muscle spasms. Generally, the first response of a medical team to a sternum fracture is to determine its severity and stabilize the patient if internal organs are involved. The fracture itself may take anywhere from two and a half to six months to heal, and individuals must be careful not to engage in activities such as pushing, lifting or carrying during that time. Occasionally, injuries associated with sternum fractures require surgery.

An individual who receives an injury like this in a motor vehicle accident in which someone else was responsible may wish to consult an attorney. Due to the potentially dangerous injury, the recovery period may be long and painful. During that time, the individual may be unable to work, and this loss of income on top of medical expenses might be financially disastrous for some families. A successful lawsuit may help cover some of these expenses.

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