Broken bones and fractures are injuries requiring immediate medical attention. They are dangerous enough as it is because of the nature of the fractures themselves, but they are often accompanied by other symptoms depending on how severe the injury is. This is a simple first aid list of what you can do to ease the pain of whoever is suffering, whether its you or someone else until help arrives.
1. The first thing you need to keep in mind is the severity of the situation. In case you are dealing with injuries on someone else pay attention to the following symptoms that may give insight. Regardless of the symptoms it would be wise to call for emergency help if you're dealing with anything larger than a minor fracture like a broken finger.
• Victim is unconscious with no heartbeat or not breathing. You will need to check the throat and nasal passages for any visible obstructions and then give CPR.
• If the victim is pale, confused, breathing in shallow breaths and covered in cold sweat it is a clear symptom of shock.
• Injuries to the head, neck, pelvis, back, hips or the upper legs.
• Severe bleeding.
• The extremities of the injured limb is blue or numb at the tip. This indicates the blood flow is obstructed in some way which may lead to further damage.
• Any movement or light pressure causes extreme pain.
• The limb is deformed in an unnatural position.
2. In any case you need to stop the bleeding right away if that is possible. Use a clean and if possible sterile material with enough absorbency to apply gentle pressure to the wound. Avoid touching the broken point as this will cause great pain. If there is an object penetrating the wound or a bone sticking out do not remove or touch it as it may be clotting the wound. Touching it may open it, leading to further blood loss.
3. Immobilize the broken limb to the best of your abilities but avoid moving it to its original position unless the circulation of blood is cut off in some way.
• Never move a person with hip or pelvis fractures. If you absolutely have to move them and their life is in danger you need to tie their legs together with a blanket between them or something similar, then place them very gently on a large board for mobility.
• You can splint an broken bone by tying it to a strong, straight object such as a stick or a board. Use whatever soft padding you can find to make it more comfortable and fasten it in any way you can. Avoid placing anything directly over the fracture as this will be unbearable. If the limb is a broken leg you must secure the leg to a flat and strong object underneath, such as a board. If you're dealing with a broken finger you can gently tie it up to the neighboring fingers with a bit of padding in between.
• If you're dealing with a broken arm you should tie it to the body at heart level if possible. Anything can work from a shirt to a rope or a belt.
• Remove any watches, bracelets, rings and the like from a broken finger or wrist. The extremity will swell and they will be literally impossible to move after that.
• Check for proper blood circulation by pressing your fingers somewhere after the breaking point. If the skin doesn't return its usual color within about two seconds you may have a problem.
• Use ice to reduce swelling. Do not apply it directly to the skin as you will cause frostbite. Use a piece of clothing and place the ice in a plastic bag if possible to contain it.
• Give the person painkillers to alleviate the pain and cover them with a blanket if the injuries allow it. Elevate their feet if that is possible at about 12 inches above their head. This will help them deal with the shock of what happened.
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