Emergency Care for Urgent Situations: Broken Bones
Our bones are strong and sturdy and bear the weight and stress we put on them quite well; and they are made strong for just this, if you have healthy bones that is. They play a major role in the body by helping with support, movement and so much more. As strong as they are, they are not indestructible and if you exert more force than they can absorb, any bone in the body is always liable to breaking. A broken bone, where one of you bones cracks or breaks into one or more pieces, is also called a fracture. A broken bone can happen at any time and to anyone. This is because there are a number of scenarios that can lead to one suffering a broken bone, especially if you take into consideration the activities we do daily. You may be walking up a set of stairs and you fall, you may be changing a light bulb and you also suffer a fall and many other situations that may lead to a fall, you may be involved in a motor vehicle accident or you may be participating in sports and you suffer a knock or hit. While healing of a broken bone is a natural process, any type of broken bone injury, no matter which bone may be broken and no matter how severe or otherwise the injury is, you should always seek medical attention. This article will look to highlight the signs of a broken bone, how to go about things when you suffer one as well as when to call 911 or go to the emergency room for the same.
The first thing we are going to look at are the signs and symptoms that indicate that you may have suffered a broken bone. If you heard a snapping sound during an injury, notice swelling, bruising, tenderness as well as intense pain when trying to move the injured area or part, you notice numbness in the injured area or a bluish color or visible deformity, then you may have a broken bone. Other signs include bone protruding through the skin, heavy bleeding on the area of the injury, or if you experience intense pain when touching or putting weight on the injured part. If you are showing any of the symptoms and signs that indicate that you have suffered a broken bone, then you need to seek medical attention. Equally as important is the on-site emergency care you get as you await medical attention, and that is what we are going to look at next.
If someone has suffered a broken bone, you should try and stop any bleeding if there is any. To do this, you should elevate the injured area if possible and apply pressure to it with a sterile bandage or a clean cloth or piece of clothing. You should look to take off any clothing in the injured area, with the best option being to cut the piece of cloth out so as to ensure you don’t move the patient and make the injury worse. You should ensure that the injured part or limb remains in the position that you found it. You should try to immobilize the area with the broken bone by use of a splint. You can improvise one by making use of a cardboard, small board or even by folding up newspapers and wrapping any of these materials with tape or an elastic bandage. You can then apply an ice pack to the area to help with swelling as well as being on the lookout for signs of shock. You should then help them get medical attention by taking them to see a doctor, an urgent care facility or an emergency room depending on the severity of the injury.
Sometimes, the broken bone injury may be severe and may require one to call 911 for assistance rather than looking to move them and take them for medical attention yourself. This includes cases where one has suffered a serious back, neck or head injury, where bone is visibly protruding from the skin, where they are bleeding profusely or where they have lost consciousness or don’t appear to be breathing. In such a situation, the first thing to do is to call 911 as soon as possible. As you wait for the emergency services to arrive, you should ensure they stay as still as possible especially if you suspect that they may have suffered an injury to the back or neck. Try to put pressure on the bleeding wound if they are experiencing heavy bleeding to try and minimize the bleeding until emergency services arrive. If they are not breathing, start CPR if you know how to, or by following the instructions given to you by the emergency personnel you talked to when calling 911. Watch out for any signs of shock as you stay with them, assuring them that help is on the way, making them as comfortable as possible like for example covering them with clothing or a blanket until emergency services arrive.
It is our hope that, from this article, you will be well placed to respond accordingly if you or someone near you suffers a broken bone and as such they will be able to get the medical attention they need and avoid any unwanted consequences.