Fracture Or Bone Injury: First Aid Steps To Follow During This Emergency
Bone fracture or injury is a medical emergency situation that can happen to anyone. It is imperative to know the symptoms and first aid steps for a bone fracture or injury.
Signs of an injury to the bone or a fracture:
- Pain and/ or tenderness at or near the site of the injury
- Abnormal mobility making it difficult or even impossible to move
- Loss of power
- Visual physical deformity
- Visual swelling
- Discolouration and bruising at or near the site of the injury or fracture
Steps to provide first aid for a bone injury or fracture:
- Do not move the patient to avoid further injury.
- Stop any bleeding by applying pressure to the bleeding wound with a fresh or sterile bandage, or a clean cloth.
- Do not try to realign or push back in the bone that might be sticking out.
- Cover any open wounds on the injured body part.
- Apply ice packs, not directly to the skin but wrapped in a cloth or towel, as it shall help in limiting the swelling and relieve pain
- Splint the injured part by immobilising the joint above and below the injured or fractured part, for e.g, in a lower leg fracture the ankle and knee joints should be immobilised.
- A splint is an external firm object or material used to keep the injured part immobilised. For e.g, a hard form outside, but padded inside splinter for the finger in case of it’s fracture.
- In case of an emergency, any hard or firm material like boards, rolled up newspapers, thick sticks, rolled up blanket or think clothing can be used as a splint.
- In absence of anything, the adjacent uninjured body part can be taped to the injured body part, for e.g., the uninjured finger can be taped to the injured finger so that the injured finger doesn’t move.
- Make sure the splint is well padded
- Tape the splint, not very tightly, to the injured part by adhesive tape, clothing, bandages.
- Check the splinted part in every half hour to loosen the taping if blood circulation is affected as also an injured part may swell thus making the splint too tight later.
- Splinting the injured part helps in reducing the pain and prevents any further injury or damage to the muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. It also prevents a closed fracture to further injure and become an open fracture. Splinting greatly reduces bleeding and swelling.
- If the patient is fainting or is breathing fast but in short breaths then make the patient lie down with head hanging a little below the body and legs elevated.
Important – Immediately contact the nearest hospital if the condition is life threatening.
Please Note – This tutorial does not substitute a formal training in Basic Life Saving Procedures or First Aid Procedures given by a licensed practitioner.
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