How to Apply First Aid on Fractured Bones

Unlike wounds, administering first aid on broken bones can be complicated and can affect the treatment and healing process. What do you need to remember during this type of emergency and how do you administer first aid on different types of fractures?

Things to Look For
How will you know if it’s a dislocation or fracture? Check the person for any signs of fracture, which can be closed, open, or complicated. It can be difficult sometimes to tell if it’s a fracture, but doctors advise to treat injuries as such. Look for the following signs and symptoms before deciding what kind of first aid treatment is needed: difficulty of movement, pain at the injured area, swelling and tenderness, bruising or discoloration of the injured part, abnormal movement or deformity, and loss of power.

Make sure that the person stays calm and as still as possible, because any sudden movement might aggravate the injury. Tell the person not to move the injured part or to look for the broken bones himself/herself. Control any bleeding in the wounds and make sure that there is no loss of blood circulation in the hands and feet.

First Aid Don’ts
• Don’t reposition or straighten the injured limb when you’re applying the splint or stopping the bleeding. Move the area as gently as possible.
• The splint or bandages must be secure, but should not be too tight to prevent blood circulation.
• Don’t attempt to massage the injured areas or move the parts above and below the broken bone.
• Don’t wash the wounds, if there are any.
• Don’t try to move the injured area if there is no support on the broken bone.
• Don’t give the patient any food or liquid.

First Aid Steps
• The injured person should stay as still as possible while you examine the possibly fractured area. Use your hands to gently feel for swelling, deformities and tenderness, but do not force any examination if touching causes pain.
• If the person is unconscious, start a CPR.
• If the person is conscious, ask questions about the accident and the possible location of the injury, so that when the medical team arrives, treatment is done right away.

• Stop the bleeding, if any, by applying pressure on the wound with a clean cloth without aggravating the injury.
• Use a broad bandage to secure the area above and below the fracture, but the bandage must not be too tight.
• Apply a splint using a long, firm object to immobilize the affected area as gently as possible, then apply cold compress on the swollen parts.
• If the injured feels like he/she is about to faint or has difficulty breathing, let him/her lie down with the head lower than the trunk and elevate the legs if those are not injured.
• Then check for pulse above or below the injured area. If there is no pulse or if the victim claims that there is no sensation in the area, do not attempt to move him/her while waiting for the medics.