Consult a doctor if any suspicious symptoms and signs follow an injury, even if fracture of a bone seems unlikely.
Symptoms and signs
- pain (sometimes the only symptom), swelling and deformity
- inability to move the fractured part
- Avoid moving the fractured part if possible.
- Unless it is essential for safety, do not shift the casualty if there is a suspected back or neck fracture because the spinal cord may be damaged by movement.
- Do not give the casualty any food or drink, because a general anaesthetic may be needed.
First aid treatment
Instructions on first aid for fractured ribs are given under CHEST INJURIES.
- If there is an open wound, control bleeding and cover the wound with a sterile dressing. If the bone is protruding, use a ring pad. Then apply a bandage.
- Support the fracture in the most comfortable position. Raise and rest a fractured foot or ankle on pillows or blankets.
- Immobilise a fractured limb, using a splint or sling. Do not attempt to straighten a fractured limb.
- Check regularly that the bandages are not too tight.
- Watch for signs of SHOCK.
- Seek medical aid immediately.
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