First Aid - Fractures, Sprains and Strains (page 5 of 11)  
   


Fracture
is a broken bone.  There are two types of fractures:

Closed fractures are those in which the skin is intact
Open, also called compound fractures, involve wounds with mild or severe bleeding.  

Sprain is an injury which occurs as a result of stretching or tearing of ligaments. 
Strain is an injury which occurs as a result of stretching or tearing of muscles.

The symptoms are mild to severe pain, stiffness, swelling and/or bruising.  Generally, it is hard to differentiate fracture vs. sprained/strained, however for the purposes of first aid administration the method of treatment is the same.  Therefore, when talking about sprain/strain, differ the diagnosis, and assume it can be a break, and vice versa.  

First Aid:

  • If someone is there, send to call for help
  • If the person is unresponsive, isn't breathing or isn't moving, proceed with CPR
  • If bleeding, stop the bleeding by applying pressure to the wound with a sterile bandage or a clean cloth
  • Apply a bag of ice to the injured area for up to 20 minutes, with a towel (paper or cloth) between the skin and ice
  • If raising the injured part does not cause more pain to the victim, attempt to raise it
  • If the person feels faint or is breathing in short, rapid breaths lay the person down with the head slightly lower than the trunk and, if possible, elevate the legs