Fractured bones are more common than people may think. One misstep could end up in one or more broken bones. It is especially true for the elderly and people with bone density issues. As we get older, bones can become more fragile and brittle. Conversely, some medical conditions can also be the cause.
Traumatic events like vehicle or pedestrian accidents are the leading cause of severe fractures and falls. How the person ends up with a broken bone doesn’t affect the treatment, as long as the people who take care of it have enough knowledge about fracture management:
- All Fractures Need Medical Attention
Because there could be damage below the skin that is not visible, the fracture may be more severe than anticipated. The best thing is to get the person to the emergency department for x-rays to verify what is happening.
As soon as the person stabilizes and the fracture site is secure, transport them to the nearest medical facility for assistance. Always treat a fracture as significant damage by using the appropriate medical supplies from refutable medical supply providers, such as SAM Medical Store to avoid further injury.
- There Are Different Types Of Fractures
Some fractures are closed, meaning they don’t pierce through the skin, and others could be open with pieces of bone protruding through the skin. Not all fractures are equally severe injuries, as a hairline fracture is also possible when a small crack in the bone is present and not clean through.
Other types of fractures most commonly seen are:
- Partial fractures – The bone didn’t fully break
- Complete fractures – The bone severed into two or more pieces
- Stable fracture – The ends of the fractured bone lined up and didn’t move out of place much
- Displaced fracture – The ends of the bone moved away from each other and may need surgery to correct.
A fracture can cause immense pain for the person, and there may be complications that others are not aware of at first glance. A medical professional should treat any of the above fracture types and regard it as a medical emergency.
It is imperative to prevent excessive bleeding in an emergency as it could cause an array of complications for the person if left unchecked. Use sterile gauze or toweling material to cover the open area for more significant bleeds.
Remember not to put any pressure on the wound. If there is a fracture, putting extra pressure on the area could damage more internal structures. You should keep the site covered to lessen the bleeding. Moreover, it would be best to prioritize stopping the bleeding because significant blood loss could cause heartbeat irregularities and a lack of oxygen to the brain.
- Don’t Move The Limb Too Much
Patients with suspected fractures will clearly state that they are in pain, and moving the limb worsens it. For this reason, the area shouldn’t be disturbed too much unless it needs treatment for bleeding or when applying a splint.
Furthermore, the sharp edges of the fractured bones could cut through surrounding tissue, muscle, and blood vessels if there is too much movement. The fragility of the other structures around the fracture is the reason why a splint should support the area.
A splint is usually anything that will assist in immobilizing the limb, but most emergency kits would come with pre-made splints in different sizes. Some are made from plastic, while others could be various layers of thick cardboard or even wood.
If there is no splint available, use wooden planks, broomsticks, or anything similar to convert into one to apply to the fractured or wounded area.
- Ice Packs Can Help With The Swelling
Most physicians will recommend adding ice packs to the affected area for injuries to the muscles and joints. It can reduce swelling and slow the blood flow to the site to slightly prevent bleeding.
Never put the cold pack or ice directly onto the skin. Instead, wrap it in a towel or cloth before applying it to the wounded area. Listen to the injured person and check with them if they are comfortable during the application. Also, don’t add any pressure if there are injuries that can’t be visibly observed.
- Check The Person For Signs Of Shock
The people involved could be shocked by their injuries caused by the traumatic situation. When this happens, the person becomes overwhelmed. Signs of shock could include:
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid heartbeat and pulse
- Cold, clammy skin
If any of these are present, the person may seem to be in distress, take them to the emergency room as soon as possible. While elevating their legs and keeping their head down, monitor their condition. When the person shows severe signs of distress, it may be best to call the emergency services.
- Know When To Call For An Ambulance
Depending on the injury and the amount of damage the person has to their body or the injured limb, they may need expert medical care fast. Especially after a car accident where there are numerous injuries to the body. The first person to assist an injured person should be on the lookout for these signs to call an ambulance as quickly as possible:
- The person is not responding to their name or is not conscious.
- They have severe trouble breathing or no heartbeat.
- Their injured limb seems severely deformed and is excruciatingly painful.
- There are pieces of bone protruding out from the skin.
- A bluish discoloration is noticeable at the end of the limb, like in the fingers or toes.
- If a person possibly has a head or spinal injury, try not to move them and call for help as soon as possible.
Start doing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if the person has no heartbeat or isn’t breathing. It may save the person’s life and help with recovery while waiting for the medical personnel to arrive.
Also see Best Orthopedic Surgeon in India.
Fractures could be a severe medical emergency, and first responders may do more harm than good when they don’t know how to handle the situation appropriately. Being aware of the most basic information about fractures could give confidence to the first responder to help an injured person who needs life-saving skills.
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