In 1958 would a broken arm get a kid hospitalized for 4 days?

I’m re-reading It by Stephen King, and I’m confused by the fact that Eddie’s broken arm lands him in the hospital for four days. It’s not even a complete break - clearly described as a greenstick fracture. I guess I could sort of see his bulldozer of a mom insisting that he be hospitalized unnecessarily, but King never says it’s her idea nor presents it as unusual. Eddie’s only other injuries are some scrapes to his face.

Did they really hospitalize kids with broken arms in the late 50s?

Length of time in hospitals has been going down for 60 years or more.

(Cite: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2917661/
“Length of stay at US acute care hospitals has been steadily decreasing since 1960 for a variety of reasons.”). I think it’s quite possible that kids in those days might spend several days in the hospital for an injury that today would be treated in the ER and have the kid home before nightfall.

My case was a partially-shattered elbow rather than a fracture or break, but in 1965, I spent six weeks in traction in the hospital while my pinned bones re-set. I was seven years old. Six weeks is just barely shy of forever at that point.

So I can see four days for a broken arm in 1958.

Yeah, I had my tonsils out in 1965 and had to spend a whole week in hospital. There were no complications, just that was the standard at the time.

Nowadays it’s an overnight stay for most kids.

My cousin broke his arm (complete break) jumping out of a swing on our backyard swing set.

He was treated, casted up, and sent home by the end of the day. I was not quite 8 years old but I still remember that we went into the ER in the early afternoon and it was dusk when we left.

This was in the mid-summer of 1968.

BTW, this wasn’t the only time he had broken a bone on our swing set. :smack:

I find it believable.

I had a greenstick fracture when I was a little kid. They just slapped the plaster on it and I went home. I didn’t go into hospital.

I broke my arm very badly at the age of five in 1976, and was home the same day with a big cast. I did get to stay home from kindergarten for a week, though, which was cool.

Um, it’s Stephen King. Reality isn’t exactly his strong suit. LOL

[Hooper]I got that beat.[/Hooper]

I broke both arms in 1958. Fell off a short cliff. Didn’t even get taken to the doctor till the next day.* X-rays, metal splints and tape. I kept breaking the right splint, doc put in a larger stainless steel one. Ah, a real challenge. Took 3 days to break it. Then a cast. That lasted.

And these we full breaks. Not greenstick.

No kid would spend any time in the hospital for a greenstick broken arm unless there was something else going on, e.g., a trauma involving a clown.

Perhaps King wasn’t familiar with the relative severities and treatments of such things.

  • One of the worst nights of my life.

I had a greenstick break in 1960. It was my second broken arm, and the doctors knew there was something bad going on. Yet all they do was put a cast on and send me home as per my abusive mother’s wishes. Bitch overrode the doctor’s idea that I should be knocked out and stay ovwrnight in the hospital.

I broke my arm as a child much later than 1958 and had to stay overnight for reasons I don’t remember. They were much more cavalier about keeping people in the hospital when it was cheaper.

I had mine out in 1969, and it was an overnight stay. I can’t imagine being there a week.

He didn’t just break his arm though - he also had “asthma” and a really, really crazy Munchausen by Proxy Mom that no doubt screamed holy hell until he was admitted. Added to that, “It/Pennywise” uses the adults in Derry as much as possible to break The Loser Club up - this was one more way to try and do it…no?

The other big factor now with discharging patients ASAP is they’re less likely to contract hospital-acquired infections with short stays. Pathogens resistant to multiple antibiotics were not a significant concern in the 1950s.

An uncomplicated fracture would’ve typically been treated on an outpatient basis back then; “simple” surgeries (tonsillectomies, appendectomies etc.) would have meant days in the hospital.

A friend of mine had a compound fracture of his forearm circa 1960 and spent two days in the hospital. They might have been leery about the wounds getting infected or something; you know how grubby ten-year old boys are. Being a kid, I didn’t ask.

I had mine out circa 1993 and it was done at an outpatient surgical center and I went home soon after waking up.

O fractured my arm in football practice, 1957. Wound was set in hospital after which I was sent home.

Unless there were complications, skin broken, infection, etc., it seems highly unlikely to me. I had my appendix out in 1950 and they kept me for a week, but mainly to inject an antibiotic every day. But the hospital charges were only $8 a night.

infection you get from the hospital even has a name - nosocomial

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hospital-acquired_infection