see also Fractures - First Aid
A broken bone may be just cracked or broken right through. In an open fracture, the skin is broken and infection can enter the wound, in a closed fracture, the skin is unbroken. In either case, internal bleeding, or injury to nerves and internal organs may complicate matters. Open fractures can lead to heavy blood loss.
Some fractures can only be confirmed by X-ray. But if someone has sustained a fall or an impact injury of some kind, says that he or she felt or heard something snap or give way, and is obviously in great pain and unable to move the affected part of the body, a fracture is almost certain. Sometimes, though not always, there is a visible deformity if you compare both sides of the body. There may also be swelling, bruising, or blood loss.
Do not move the casualty any more than is absolutely necessary. Severe bleeding (see Bleeding), difficulty breathing (see Breathing), and loss of consciousness (see Unconsciousness) should be dealt with before the suspected fracture.
Bleeding can be controlled by applying pressure to the sides of the fractured bone. Cover the broken skin or protruding ends of bone with sterile gauze. Place a ring dressing over the site to prevent it being knocked or touched, and secure it with a bandage. Contact Emergency Medical Services.
In isolated situations where the journey to hospital may take some time, immobilise the affected part as best you can to prevent further damage and bleeding. For example, bandage the arm against the chest, the jaw to the head, one leg to the other. Pad the bandaging above and below the fracture so that clothes and blankets cannot touch it.
Do not move the casualty any more than is absolutely necessary to stop bleeding and cover the wound. Check the extremities of the injured limb for circulation, colour, and feeling, and loosen bandages if necessary. Watch for signs of Shock.
Specific remedies to be taken twice a day for up to 3 weeks
- If a fracture is slow to heal Symphytum 6c