All, absolutely all human beings are exposed to suffering a fracture. A low footfall, a stumble, a push when crossing the street, a fall down the stairs, and even the hit of a ball can considerably affect the structure of some of the bones in our body.
A fracture or broken bone is a very significant injury that must be attended to by a specialist to avoid further complications and ensure good bone and muscle health. However, what can we do when someone has suffered a fracture and has not yet been taken to the doctor? Because many considerations must be considered in these emergency cases, at FastlyHealwe, I have prepared this article to explain what first aid is for fractures.
Table of Contents
What is a fracture?
Bones can withstand a lot of pressure; however, they will break when one receives more stress than they can hold. Breaking bone of any size is known as a fracture. However, there are different types of fractures :
- Open fracture: This type of fracture occurs when the break goes beyond the layers of the skin.
- Comminuted fracture: when the bone has received a significant impact and has broken into multiple fragments.
- A pathological fracture occurs as a secondary factor, generally of another pathology such as osteoporosis, where the bone is so weakened that the minimum effort can break it.
How do you recognize a fracture? To acknowledge a fracture, the first thing to do is analyze the injured area. In general, when there is a fracture in the arms, legs, or fingers, the deformity is noticeable; however, when it comes to the back, head, or spine, the fracture can seldom be corroborated without an X-ray.
Also, the main symptom of a fracture is immobility of the injured area; movement is almost nil because pain prevents it. Likewise, the following manifestations are shared among the symptoms of a fracture:
- Tingling or numbness
- The immediate appearance of purples.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Rupture of the skin and bleeding.
- Very severe pain
A dislocated bone can often be confused with a fracture since, to differentiate the two conditions, it is necessary to wait for the bone radiograph. However, both pathologies are essential and should only be treated by a specialist.
First aid for fractures: assess the area
- Evaluate the area. Severe pain or immobility does not necessarily represent a fracture. Therefore, check the injured site for deformity, swelling, or bruising.
- Ask for help . When the suspicion of a fracture is evident, you should seek assistance from a medical specialist. If you find yourself, you will only have to call the emergency room for an ambulance to come for you if no one can help you get to the nearest medical center. Of course, do not try to go on your own since forcing mobility can worsen the severity of the fracture and cause detachments. Whether your fracture is severe or not, you should be treated by a medical specialist.
- Do not exert yourself. Even when you know it is a less severe fracture, do not force the movement, and do not try to approach a hospital by yourself since the consequences can be regrettable. The most important thing for first aid for fractures is not to mobilize the area.
- If the injury is severe, it is necessary to call medical care and ask for advice on what to do while the ambulance arrives. Making a tourniquet to stop the blood flow and prevent bleeding is often required. This occurs in open fractures when the bone has protruded from the skin.
- Emergency. Immediately call a medical center when the fractured person has lost consciousness, is out of his mind, is delirious, or does not recognize his surroundings, if the fingers or toes are blue, if there is blood, if the pain is unbearable or if the suspected broken neck, spine, or head. And remember, you should not move it for anything.
Fracture First Aid: Offering Help
- Oxygen . If you notice that the person is not breathing and you find that they do not have a pulse, they will need to be renewed before medical help arrives. Perform precise and robust chest compressions; if you do not react, it will be necessary to breathe from mouth to mouth, tilting the head back. If the blow was to the skull, spine, or neck, you should not move your head.
- Stop the bleeding . If the fracture is exposed and the bone has come out of the skin, there will be bleeding, and it should be stopped with the help of clean gauze or a towel. Press the wound for a few minutes to prevent the blood from flowing further and stimulate it to clot. If the bleeding does not stop, use a rubber band, rope, or tape as a tourniquet to tie around the wound and prevent blood from circulating until medical help is obtained.
- Embedded objects . If there is an object embedded in the wound, it should not be removed, as it may interfere with blood flow, and removing it can cause even worse bleeding.
Fracture First Aid: Caring for the Fracture
- Immobilize the broken bone. While medical help arrives, it may be necessary to immobilize the fractured area to reduce pain, which should only be applied in broken bones of the extremities. If you consider that you are not qualified to perform a splint, it is better to avoid the action since a wrong movement could injure arteries or nerves and put future mobility at risk. The simplest way to splint is to place a rigid material such as cardboard or plastic sheet on each side of the injury to provide rigidity and support for the bone. The material you decide to use must be tied with a ribbon without adjusting too much. Splint only if it will take more than an hour for medical personnel to arrive.
- Cold in injury . Ice helps deflate inflammatory lesions quickly and stop bleeding and reduce pain. Place an ice pack or a cooling bandage for 1 to 15 minutes on the affected area and then remove.
- Shock? Many people suffering a fracture due to trauma and pain can suffer an attack of fright. Among first aid for fractures, you should look for signs that indicate a feeling of dizziness, fainting, confusion, paranoia, a fast heartbeat, or panic. In these cases, it is essential to put the person to bed if the type of fracture allows it so that he regains calm and the pulse returns to normal. Hydrating the person can help the shock pass more quickly.
- Soothe the pain . If the pain from the fracture is unbearable, offer the person an analgesic that allows them to feel less pain and better cope with waiting for medical help. Of course, check that the drug does not inhibit blood clotting; otherwise, do not administer it.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to First aid for fractures , we recommend that you enter our Bones, Joints and Muscles category .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.