While calling 911 is not necessary with every fracture, it is essential if someone has experienced a major trauma. For instance, if there has been a car accident, or if someone falls from a tree or building, first responders on the scene can evaluate for any life-threatening injuries. At that time, they can also administer any initial first aid that may be needed before transporting the injured to the hospital.
Stop the Bleeding
If there is an open fracture, the piercing wound made by the jagged edge of the bone will likely be bleeding. Try to apply a bandage to two sides of the break and wrap the wound with sterile gauze. Continue to apply pressure until the bleeding stops. Open fractures are dangerous not only because of the bleeding but also because of the risk of infection. For this reason, it is important to take the injured to the hospital immediately so the wound can be irrigated and antibiotics can be started.
Immobilize the Bone
After a break, any additional movement can make the injury worse. If you know how to splint, then go ahead and splint the limb. If you don’t, then try to immobilize the limb by holding it with both hands – one above the break and one below it. Again, it is crucial that you get the injured person emergency medical treatment.
Ice and Elevation
Swelling will begin almost immediately after a break has occurred, but there are things you can do to minimize it. First, apply an ice pack to the injury, but be sure to place a towel between the pack and the skin to protect the skin from injury. Next, try to elevate the fractured limb above the heart. Both of these actions will help prevent excessive swelling, which will result in fewer complications and less pain.
Nothing By Mouth
There is always the chance that surgery will be needed to set the broken bone. This is especially true with open fractures. Because of the potential need for anesthesia in the near future, it is important to have the injured person abstain from food or drink.
The most common symptoms associated with a fracture are pain, swelling, and bruising. There may also be a loss of function. However, because fractures are not always apparent from outward appearances when they are suspected, it is important to be evaluated as soon as possible by a medical professional.
If you suspect a fracture, would like more information about fractures, or are concerned about any injury, call the Clinton Township office of Movement Orthopedics at (586) 436-3785 for a consultation. Our expert providers have your orthopedic health as their number one priority. You can also request an appointment online.