Broken bones are common injuries in both children and adults. These injuries are caused by vehicular accidents, falls, a direct blow and even intentional injuries such as child abuse and violence.
Broken bones are quite common among children below 10 years old. Take note that children face additional risks since their bones are still developing. Women who are under the menopausal stage face an increased risk since they lose bone mass, thus their bones are weaker. Remember that bone can be strengthened throughout life through calcium supplements and weight-bearing exercises.
The indications of a broken bone include bruising, swelling and inability to bear weight. An individual with a broken bone should not be moved unless in a life-threatening scenario involving further harm, especially if a neck, head, back or hip fracture is suspected.
What to do
In case it is needed to move an individual with a broken bone, you have to immobilize the injured area first with a splint. If a splint is not available, you can create one using a board, folded newspaper or rolled up clothing. Other considerations to bear in mind include the following:
- You have to splint the injury in the position it was found in.
- Apply the splint above and below the site of the fracture. Make sure that you will place padding to minimize discomfort.
- Do not attempt to realign the body part. In case circulation is poor and the skin is pale and medical assistance is not yet available, you can gently move the injured part back to its normal position to improve the circulation.
- Do not tighten the splint since it will disrupt the circulation. Assess the circulation, warmth, numbness and the skin color.
- Apply an ice pack to help minimize the swelling.
- In case bone pierced out of the skin, do not attempt to push it pack. You can use a dry, clean cloth or bandage to cover it until the medical team arrives on the scene.
- As much as possible, you have to prevent shock.
- Control any bleeding by applying gentle pressure over the wound using a clean cloth or sterile bandage.
Dealing with broken bones on specific body parts
In case a finger appears damaged or dislocated, you have to tape the injured finger to the uninjured finger next to it. When the thumb is damaged, you can apply a splint.
For a broken bone in the foot or ankle, you can apply a soft splint such as one that is made out of a heavy towel or pillow to immobilize the area. Remember not to remove the shoes of the individual.
When it comes to a broken leg, you can utilize a triangular bandage to help bind the injured leg to the uninjured leg.
As for fractures on the rib, they typically heal on their own within a span of two months. Nevertheless, in rare circumstances, broken ribs can pierce the lungs, thus causing internal bleeding. If an individual is suspected with a rib fracture, position a folded blanket or pillow between the area where pain is originating and the arm and then bind the arm to the body to support the injured rib area.