Bone fractures are a break in the bone and can happen to anyone. A fracture can cause severe pain, and the injury is almost impossible to miss. Athletes are at an increased risk for a fracture, however, falls, slips, collision accidents, and overuse can also result in a broken bone.
A bone fracture requires immediate medical attention. Once you’ve called for emergency help, what do you do until they arrive? Usually, 911 operators can give you instructions on what to do.
Here, we discuss some of the best first aid practices for a bone fracture.
How Do You Know It Is a Fracture?
The first step in giving first aid for a bone fracture is to know the signs and symptoms of a fracture. Some of the common signs of a bone fracture include:
- A visible deformity
- Severe pain
- Limited range of motion
- Hearing a grating noise when you move
A compound fracture is characterized by bone puncturing the skin. This is a medical emergency, and you should call 911 right away for this injury.
What Is First Aid for a Fracture?
First aid practice can help improve the healing of a fracture. See the following steps on what to do if someone around you has a fracture:
Step One: Stop the bleeding
If the bone has pierced the skin, as in the case of a compound fracture, there will be bleeding. Apply a clean cloth or gauze to the area surrounding the wound to help stop the bleeding. If the injury is in an extremity, have the injured person lay down and elevate the injured area above heart level. Be careful not to touch the protruding bone.
Step Two: Immobilize the area
Next, keep the injured area immobilized. The goal is to prevent unnecessary movement. This can be done with a splint. A splint should be applied above and below the site of the injury.
For this, you can use a rigid object, such as a splint or rolled-up newspaper, and place it on either side of the affected area. Tie it with a cloth to keep it in place. You can also improvise a splint by using a magazine or any other rigid object you have on hand.
For spine and hip fractures, it is critical that the person be kept in a neutral position and remain as still as possible. The 911 operator can guide you on how to perform CPR in case it becomes necessary.
Step Three: Apply ice
To reduce pain and swelling in the case of a non-punctured fracture, apply ice to the injured area. Wrap the ice in a cloth and place it on the injured area for 15-20 minutes at a time. Repeat this process every hour to reduce pain and swelling.
Step Four: Monitor the individual and provide comfort
Fractures do come with a risk of shock. Have the person lie down if they are feeling faint and have the head be lower than the trunk, and keep the injury elevated (if possible) and supported until the medics arrive.
Even if you’ve given proper first aid to a fractured bone, it’s essential to seek medical attention. A healthcare provider will diagnose the severity of the injury and recommend the best course of treatment. If the injury is severe, they may need to realign the bones or apply a cast to prevent further injury. Failure to seek medical attention may result in long-term complications.
Top Bone Fracture Care in North Dakota
For the best fracture treatment in North Dakota, choose Bone & Joint Center. With extensive training and experience at Level I and Level II trauma centers, our orthopedic surgeons bring the most comprehensive and advanced care to every stage of trauma treatment.
Have peace of mind knowing your loved one will receive the highest quality and most comprehensive fracture care in North Dakota. To schedule an appointment, call us today at (701) 946-7400 / (866) 900-8650 or use our convenient online form.