Injuries – What to do when you fracture a bone?

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A fracture is a broken bone and will require medical attention.

What are the signs and symptoms?

The pain is different for everyone, depending on age, what bone is broken and how bad the break is.  People often describe the pain like a deep ache, or a sharp pain – especially with an open fracture.

  •  Swelling
  • Deformity of injured area, when compared with uninjured side.
  • Loss of normal function.
  • Discolouration of the skin or bruising.
  • A wound if it is an open fracture.

What to do?          

  • Most importantly stay calm.
  • Get someone to phone 111 for an ambulance.

Take the following actions while waiting for medical assistance:

  • Control any bleeding – apply direct, firm pressure to the wound with a clean cloth or clean piece of clothing.
  •  Immobilise the injured area – Use whatever is available to pad around the broken bone.
  •  Apply a clean dressing loosely over the injured area.
  • If possible apply ice wrapped in a clean towel to injured area to limit swelling.
  •  Make patient as comfortable as possible without unnecessary movement, as it could make the injury worse.
  •  Treat for shock – if patient feels faint or is breathing in short, rapid breaths, lay person down with head slightly lower than trunk, and if possible elevate legs.
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