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How to Provide First Aid for a Broken Bone?

First Aid for a Broken Bone - clide management

A broken bone, or fracture, is an injury that requires immediate medical attention. Aside from the actual fracture of the bone itself, other symptoms may accompany the bone injury, depending on the severity of and circumstance in which the injury occurred. Here’s what you can do to help keep the victim comfortable and prevent further injury until help arrives.
Method 1 of 3: Early Diagnostic Action and Treatment

1 – Call for emergency help if the injury is severe. Some severe fractures that accompany trauma or major injury will require immediate and expert help. Indications of a severe injury may include one or more of the following:

  • The person is unconscious, is not breathing, or has no heartbeat. You may need to perform CPR.
  • The person is pale, sweaty (cold sweat), short of breath and/or confused. These are symptoms suggestive of shock.
  • The person is bleeding severely.
  • The injury is to the head, neck, back, hip, pelvis, or upper leg.
  • The injured limb or joint looks deformed or seems to be out of the usual position.
  • Any little movement or light pressure causes pain.
  • The bone has pierced through the skin (an “open” fracture).
  • The extremity of the injured arm or leg is numb or bluish at the tip.
2 – Stop any bleeding. Hold a clean, preferably sterile, absorbent material over the injury and apply gentle yet direct pressure (without applying over the break). If there is a large object penetrating the skin, do not remove it. It may be clotting the wound, and removing it could cause severe bleeding.

3 – Immobilize the injured area. Don’t ask the person to move their fractured limb; help them get comfortable where they are. Do not try to move the limb or bone to its original position, unless circulation is cut off.

  • Do not move a person with a hip or pelvis fracture. If they must be moved, however, strap the legs together with a towel or blanket in between them and place the person gently on a board.
4 – Use covered ice packs to numb the pain and reduce swelling. Grab any available ice packs and wrap in a light towel. Place gently over the site of the fracture. This will help contain the bleeding, reduce swelling, and help numb the pain.

5 – Treat the person for signs of shock. Shock is dangerous because it routes blood and oxygen away from vital organs.This physiological state, if left untreated, can ultimately cause organ damage.

  • Symptoms of shock include:
  • Cool, clammy skin
  • A weak but rapid pulse
  • Nausea
  • Glassy, unfocused eyes
  • An unconscious or semi-conscious state
  • Treat shock by:
  • Having the person lie down and elevate their feet slightly higher than their head
  • Wrapping a towel or blanket around the person to keep them warm
  • Turning the person on their side if they start to vomit from nausea

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Method 2 of 3: Making a Splint
1 – Splint the bone or the limb in the position in which it was found. Splinting helps to immobilize the bone before professional medical attention can take over. Splinting may not be necessary if emergency services are coming right away; in this case, splinting may cause more harm than good.

2 – Get something rigid to act as the skeleton of the splint. Candidate items will include rolled up newspapers and magazines, boards, or even sticks. If you can’t find any of these items, a blanket or article of clothing will do.

  • Another limb can also serve as the skeleton of the splint. For example, tape a broken finger or toe to its adjacent finger or toe with padding in between if possible.
3 – Extend the skeleton of the splint beyond the injured joints. If your wrist is broken, for example, wrap a newspaper around the hand, wrist, and forearm in order to secure the broken bone as much as possible. If your ankle is broken, wrap the newspaper around the foot, ankle, and lower leg.
Tie the splint up. Secure the splint in place by firmly but gently tying it down, using whatever you have at hand: cloth strips, belts, ties, or tape will all do. Tighten to the point that the splint is stabilized without tightening down on the injury itself or cutting off circulation.