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Last modified / updated Jan. 01, 2016
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Injury : Fracture or bone-broken or stress fracture or broken bone

DEFINITION : A fracture is an injury in which the tissue of a bone is disrupted. A stress fracture is a (usually small) break in a bone that develops because of repeated or prolonged forces against the bone.

CONSIDERATIONS : If more pressure is put on a bone than it can stand, it will split or break. An open fracture (in which bone breaks the skin) can easily become infected. If a young child does not start to use an injured arm or leg within hours of an accident, or if they continue to cry when the injured area is touched, assume the child has a broken bone, and get medical help. It is hard sometimes to tell a dislocated bone from a broken bone. Both are emergency situations. The basic first aid steps are the same for both.

CAUSES : most arm and leg fractures are caused by a blow, fall, or other trauma - skiing accident - child abuse -osteoporosis - bone tumors - metabolic disease - prolonged standing, walking, or running can cause stress fractures of the foot and ankle

SYMPTOMS : - a visibly out of place or misshapen limb or joint - limitation of movement - swelling and intense pain - paleness - no pulse - bruising - numbness and tingling - pain on weight bearing.

DO NOT : - DO NOT move the victim unless the injured area is completely immobilized. DO NOT move a victim with an injured hip, pelvis, or upper leg unless it is absolutely necessary. If you must move the victim immediately, use the "clothes drag" technique. DO NOT attempt to straighten a misshapen bone or joint or to change its position. DO NOT test a misshapen bone or joint for loss of function. DO NOT give the victim anything by mouth.

CALL IMMEDIATELY FOR EMERGENCY MEDICAL ASSISTANCE IF : - the victim has a dislocation, broken bone, or if there is severe bleeding. - you cannot completely immobilize the injury at the scene by yourself.. FIRST AID :

  1. Check the victim's airway, breathing and circulation. If necessary, begin rescue breathing, CPR, or bleeding control.
  2. Keep the victim still and provide assurance.
  3. If the skin is broken by a fractured bone, or if you suspect there may be a broken bone under the skin, take steps to prevent infection. Don't breathe on the wound, and do not wash or probe it. Cover it with sterile dressings before immobilizing the injury.
  4. Splint or sling the injury in the position in which you found it. Be sure to immobilize the area both above and below the injured joint and to check the circulation of the affected area after immobilizing. Ice packs may be applied to ease pain and swelling. To check circulation either check the radial pulse in the wrist or press firmly on the skin in the affected area - it should blanch and then, "pink up" in 2 seconds.
  5. Make an effort to prevent shock. Lay the victim flat, elevates the feet about 12 inches, and covers the victim with a coat or blanket. However, do not move the victim if a head, back, or leg injury is suspected.
  6. Get medical help.

PREVENTION : - Appropriate protective gear should be worn during activities: - helmets - elbow pads - knee pads - shin pads - Create a safe environment for young children. - Teach safety. Help children learn how to look out for themselves. - Supervise children carefully. There is no substitute for adequate supervision, no matter how safe the environment or situation appears to be.

Note: The medical knowledge base changes constantly. The information and knowledge on this subject may not be current or may become obsolete. Therefore, it is important that you always refer to the latest update available in the matter. The information provided on this site cannot be treated as current and up-to-date and cannot substitute professional medical advice / treatment and care. This site or its owners in no event shall be liable for any damages or injuries caused by use of any information contained on this site.