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first aid for broken bones

  • How to respond to Musculoskeletal Injuries

    Whether bone or muscle, the immediate First Responder actions should be the same for these injuries:

    Fractures, Dislocations, Sprains, StrainsBroken Bones

             I -      Immobilize injured area

             A-      Activate EMS (Call 911)

             C-      Care for shock

             T-      Treat secondary injuries

    StrainFirst Aid:

    Musculoskeletal Injuries – R.I.C.E.

             R-      Rest

             I-       Ice

             C-      Compression

             E-      Elevation

    Head, Neck & Spine Injuries

    1. Stabilize injured area
    2. Maintain open airway
    3. Call 911

    ( Learn more about Head, Neck and Spinal Injuries )


    Splinting is necessary for situations in which the victim must be moved or transported.

    Types of Splints

    1. Anatomic Splint- Body provides support
    2. Soft Splint- Sling, sheet, towel
    3. Rigid Splint- Magazine, board, branch


    Learn more: First Aid for Fractures (Broken Bones) & Strains and Sprains

  • First Aid for Fractures (Broken Bones)

    We get asked all the time about splints, splinting, broken bones, etc... here's some basic first aid information on caring for fractures...

    First Aid for Fractures (Broken Bones)

    General Information on broken bones and fractures

    A fracture is a break or chip in the bone. A fracture should be suspected if the body part does not have a normal appearance or function. A fracture is usually accompanied by pain, swelling and discoloration of the injured area. The main objective of first aid treatment for broken bones is to prevent further injury.
    There are a two main types of fractures:

    • Closed Fracture – the bone is broken but the skin has not been punctured.
    • Open Fracture – the skin is broken and the broken bone protrudes from the wound


    • If the fracture is severe and the bone is protruding from the skin, call 9-1-1 or EMS immediately and wait for Emergency Medical Personnel to arrive.
    • Do not move the casualty unless they are in immediate danger. If he/she has to be moved, apply a splint before moving the casualty.
    • Leave the fractured limb in the position in which you found it. Do not try to straighten the limb! The splint should be applied in the position of the limb.
    • Place an ice pack on the injured area for up to 20 minutes. Place a cloth between the skin and ice.
    Image of splinted arm The SAM Splint is great for splinting arms!
    • Applying Splints:
      1. A splint should be long enough to extend beyond the injured joint or bone. The splint should extend above and below the fracture point.
      2. Any firm or rigid material can be used for splinting, such as wood, tongue depressor, cardboard, folded magazines or newspaper.
      3. Use towels, clothing, or other soft material to cushion the area to prevent further injury.
      4. Support and fasten the splints with bandages or cloths at a minimum of three areas:
        • Below the joint; below the break.
        • Above the joint; above the break.
        • At the level of the break; but not directly on the injury
    • Broken bones in the hands or feet can be immobilized by gently wrapping a pillow or blanket around them to protect from further injury.
    • Apply pressure with a sterile dressing to control any serious bleeding.
    An image of Splinting a finger Splinting a finger
    Splints - Disposable Splints, Wire Splints, Sam Splints, Inflatable Air Hand & Wrist or Foot & Ankle Splints, Finger Splints in Aluminum.
    Tongue Depressor. We offer Tongue Depressors in Non-Sterile & individually wrapped sterile packages - used for medical purposes, first aid splint, as applicators and even for crafts.
    Triangular Sling / Bandage with two Safety Pins. An essential item for first aid, and Triangle bandage can be used to sling, swathe, bind, support and hold a variety of injuries.

    ? It is National Preparedness Month! September 2014 is National Preparedness Month - read our National Preparedness Month Blog for Preparedness Tips, Articles, Plans and more!!!

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