First aid treatment of fractures
A fracture is caused when a bone cracks or breaks. The reason could range from a simple fall to a major accident. A fracture if treated on time can often completely heal. However, if neglected, it could lead to a permanent disability. So it is vital that first aid for fracture is provided immediately after injury.
What causes fractures?
In most cases, fractures are caused by falls, sports injuries and motor vehicle accidents. Young children and older people are more prone to fractures because their bones are weaker. Stress fractures are caused by repeated actions, which place pressure on a certain bone. These types of fractures are most common amongst athletes and usually affect the bones in the feet.
- Massage the affected area
- Straighten the broken bone
- Move without support to broken bone
- Move joints above / below the fracture
- Give oral liquids / food
Types of Fracture
Closed Fracture vs. Open Fracture
- A closed fracture is when the broken bone does not tear through the skin.
- A fracture is considered open when the bone pierces through the skin. Such fractures can lead to infections.
First aid treatment of fractures
If you come across a casualty that has suffered a suspected fracture try to encourage the casualty to stay still and support the injured limb. Don’t try to move the casualty or straighten the limb as this could cause more damage. Call 999 and wait with the patient until the paramedics arrive. Try to keep the casualty talking and reassure them that help is on the way. Don’t try and massage the affected area and don’t apply pressure to the limb.
Splints Poles, sturdy twigs, card boards or magazines can be used as splints. If these are unavailable, the chest can be used as a splint if the arm is fractured. In case of a fractured leg, the uninjured leg can be used.
Padding Jackets and blankets can be used as padding.
Bandages Strips torn from clothes and handkerchiefs can be used as bandages.
Slings A sling is something suspended from the neck which supports the hand. The fractured hand needs to be put in a sling. When providing first aid for fracture, a piece of cloth or a belt can be used as a sling. One thing to be remembered is that the victim’s hand should be at a level higher than the elbow.
Swathes Immobilizing the injured limb is the purpose of using swathes. Cloth pieces can be used for the purpose.
Healing and recovery of a fracture
Healing time varies according to the severity of the fracture. Mild cases usually heal within a few weeks while severe fractures may take a long time to heal. Once the case or splint is removed, the patient may have physiotherapy to build up the muscles and tissues around the bone and improve the range of movement around the joint; patients should avoid strenuous exercise for a period of time.
Points to consider When Giving First Aid for Fracture
- People who have suffered fractures may have a problem with blood circulation resulting in numbness and paleness of skin. If not attended to immediately, this may result in the loss of the affected limb. Medical help has to be provided as soon as possible.
- In the case of an open fracture, by no means should one tried to push the bone back.
- The swathe should be placed either above or below the place of fracture.
A fracture needs to be attended by a medical professional quickly, but until then first aid for fracture needs to be provided which would prevent aggravation of the injury.
First aid treatment of fractures – GK First Aid Training offer a number of First Aid Courses that deal with the condition of Fractures. We offer both the 1 Day Emergency First Aid at Work and the 3 Day First Aid at Work Course. Both of these courses can be delivered directly to you in your workplace. Call us directly on 0800 774 7034 to discuss your requirements.