Bone Fractures: Symptoms, Risk Factors, and First Aid

Fractures are breaks, cracks or chips in the bone. A fractured bone that pierces through the skin is called an open fracture.

Fractures can be caused by sports injuries, falls, and even osteoporosis, where there is a weakening of the bone due to ageing. 

Due to bleeding and the risk of infection, open fractures are potentially the most dangerous. Closed fractures, which do not break the skin, are the most common. A dislocation occurs when the bone slips out of its normal place in the joint.

Fracture Symptoms

The obvious signs of a bone fracture are:
Acute pain
Swelling (may be severe or mild)
Limited range of movement

First Aid for Bone Fractures

For a broken arm, wrist or hand, make a sling to support the fractured area:
Find a large piece of cloth and fold it into the shape of a triangle.
Gently slide the wide part of the triangle under the injured arm.
Tie the loose ends around the neck. Make sure the sling is tied tight enough to hold the arm snugly but not to the extent that blood flow is restricted.
If a bone in the forearm or wrist is fractured, gently support the injured area and place the lower arm on a folded newspaper or magazine padded with a towel or pillow. This creates a splint that immobilises and protects the broken bone.
Tie the splint around the arm using cloth strips; place the strips on either side of the injured area.
After securing the splint, make a sling to support the arm.

See a doctor immediately to check for possible damage to the nerves and/or blood vessels. 
Bone Fractures: Symptoms, Risk Factors, and First Aid

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