Broken Bones

Broken Bones

First aid for fractures is all about immobilising (limiting movement of) the injured area. Splints can be used for this. Control any external bleeding. Complicated breaks where a limb is very deformed may need to be realigned before splinting – only paramedics or medical staff should do this.

Fractures of the head or body such as skull, ribs and pelvis are all serious and should be managed by paramedics.

If you suspect a bone fracture, you should:

  • Keep the person still – do not move them unless there is an immediate danger, especially if you suspect fracture of the skull, spine, ribs, pelvis or upper leg
  • Attend to any bleeding wounds first. Stop the bleeding by pressing firmly on the site with a clean dressing. If a bone is protruding, apply pressure around the edges of the wound
  • If bleeding is controlled, keep the wound covered with a clean dressing
  • Never try to straighten broken bones
  • For a limb fracture, provide support and comfort such as a pillow under the lower leg or forearm. However, do not cause further pain or unnecessary movement of the broken bone
  • Apply a splint to support the limb. Splints do not have to be professionally manufactured. Items like wooden boards and folded magazines can work for some fractures. You should immobilise the limb above and below the fracture
  • Use a sling to support an arm or collarbone fracture
  • Raise the fractured area if possible and apply a cold pack to reduce swelling and pain
  • Stop the person from eating or drinking anything until they are seen by a doctor, in case they will need surgery

In an emergency, call triple zero (000) for an ambulance.

No Comments

Post A Comment