With over 200 bones in the human body, fractures for some can seem almost inevitable. While many people live their entire lives without breaking a bone, others seem to fracture bones on a regular basis. Knowing how to give first aid for fractures if you or someone you are with fractures a bone can reduce your stress level if it happens. Proper first aid for fractures depends on several injury factors.
Never ask the injured person to try and move the limb that contains the suspected fracture. The often held belief that if you can move the part, the bone is not broken, is false. Broken bones do not always prevent movement. In addition, moving a limb that has a fractured bone can exacerbate the injury. First aid for fractures should not include movement of the injured area.
Ask the injured person what happened. Some people report hearing the bone snap, which is an indicator of fracture. Feel very lightly along the injured area for swelling. Visually inspect the area for deformities. A fractured bone can change the shape of the limb or joint.
Immobilize the joints above and below the suspected fracture. Bending a joint can cause further injury to the fracture. Use splints to prevent the joints from moving until a medical evaluation takes place. Ice reduces swelling. To prevent or reduce swelling, apply ice packs.
Check whether the injured person has any sensation below the suspected fracture. Feel for a pulse. A lack of pulse warrants an emergency call for assistance.
You should also call for emergency help if there is a lot of bleeding, the skin has been pierced by the bone, or the limb appears to be deformed. In addition, if the skin has a blue tint to it, an emergency call is prudent. A bluish tint may be caused a lack of circulation.
While first aid for fractures can be implemented in many cases without calling for emergency assistance, fractures of some bones should not be handled without medical training. They include fractures of the neck, back, pelvis, or hip. If you suspect a bone in the upper leg is broken, it also warrants a call for help.
Treat all suspected fractures as if you know they are fractures. Treatment for sprains and dislocations is similar to treatment for a fracture. Do not try and reset the bone. Let health care professionals do it.
Do not give the injured person anything to eat or drink until a medical professional allows it. Some fractures require surgery to repair. Eating or drinking beforehand can cause nausea and vomiting from the anesthesia.