Whether you are playing a sport or hiking in the woods, if someone around you gets injured and you suspect it might be a fracture, it is important to react properly. By following the correct steps before seeking help, you can avoid further injury. Before getting the person to a medical clinic, follow the procedures below:
Don’t move the person. If the individual looks like they have sustained a major injury, do not move them at all. You would be risking displacing the bone even more than it already is. In cases like this, it is often best to wait for emergency crews to arrive.
Immobilize the fractured limb. As you wait for emergency crews or transport the person to an urgent care clinic, do what you can to keep the injured body part in place. If you or someone nearby is trained in first aid, apply a splint to the arm or leg.
Apply ice. Prevent inflammation by applying ice directly to the injured area. Wrap an ice pack or bag of ice in a towel and hold it gently to the skin. Hold for about 20 minutes and remove it for 20 minutes until medical professionals step in.
Look for other injuries. As you stabilize the patient and make a plan to get them to a medical clinic, scan their body for other injuries. Apply pressure to any bleeding and notice any bruising. These are all symptoms that you will need to report to the urgent care or emergency room doctor.
Seek help. Depending on the severity of the individual’s injury, you should either call 911 or transport them to a medical center yourself. Four out of five urgent care centers provide fracture care, and these facilities are a viable alternative to emergency rooms and primary care offices.
When reacting to someone’s potential fracture, be sure to be alert. If they are feeling faint and experiencing shortness of breath, take immediate action, as they might be going into shock. If you can, lay the person down with their head slightly lower than the rest of their body and elevate their legs. Your calm and attentive reaction is key to getting the patient to proper care.