What to Do When When Someone Suffers a Fracture or Broken Bone
Fractures are broken bones and require medical attention as soon as possible. If the fracture is a result of a major trauma such as a fall or car accident, then you should call 000 as soon as you can. Also call the emergency services if the person is unresponsive, is bleeding heavily, in a lot of pain, the limb is deformed, an extremity appears blue or the bone has pierced the skin. Always call the emergency services straight away if the injury is to the neck, head or back.
While waiting to receive medical attention you should immobilise the injured area. Don’t try to realign any broken bones or attempt to push protruding bones back in. If you have been trained you can utilise a splint such as those sold on Shop First Aid. They should be applied above and below the injury to reduce discomfort.
Stop any bleeding by applying pressure on the wound. Sterile bandages or dressings should be used if available.
You can use ice packs to limit swelling and help with pain. Don’t apply ice or icepacks directly to the skin. They should be wrapped in materials such as cloths or towels.
If the person feels like they may faint, is breathing heavily and in rapid short breaths, they may be in shock. The injured person should lay down with their legs elevated when possible.