Open fractures are far more serious than closed
period of time will elapse before treatment by a medical
fractures. They usually involve extensive tissue damage
officer, it maybe better to remove enough of the victim's
and are likely to become infected. Closed fractures are
clothing so you can apply well-padded splints directly
sometimes converted into open fractures by rough or
to the injured part. However, when the victim is to be
careless handling of the victim. Therefore, ALWAYS
transported only a short distance or when treatment by
USE EXTREME CARE AND CAUTION WHEN
a medical officer will not be delayed, it is probably best
TREATING A SUSPECTED FRACTURE.
to leave the clothing on and apply emergency splinting
over it. If you decide to remove the clothing over the
It is not always easy to recognize a fracture. All
injured part, extreme care must be taken. Cut away the
fractures, whether closed or open, are likely to cause
clothing or rip it along the seams. Remember, rough
severe pain or shock but other symptoms may vary
handling of the victim may convert a closed fracture into
considerably. A broken bone sometimes causes the
an open fracture, increase the severity of shock and
injured part to become deformed or to assume an
cause extensive damage to the blood vessels, nerves,
unnatural position; however, this is not always the case.
muscles, and other tissues around the broken bone.
Pain and swelling may be localized at the fracture site,
and there may be a wobbly movement if the bone is
9. When the fracture is open, you must take care of
broken clear through. It maybe difficult or impossible
the wound before you can treat the fracture. Bleeding
for the victim to move the injured part. When movement
from the wound may be quite serious; however, most
is possible, the victim may feel a grating sensation as the
bleeding can be stopped by applying direct pressure on
ends of the broken bone rub against each other.
the wound or by applying digital pressure at the
However, when a bone is cracked rather than broken
appropriate pressure point. When these methods are not
through, the victim may be able to move the injured part
successful, use a tourniquet. Then treat the fracture.
without much difficulty. An open fracture is easy to
recognize if an end of the broken bone protrudes through
We have now completed the general rules for
the flesh. When the bone does not protrude, you might
treating fractures. The symptoms and emergency
see the external wound but fail to recognize the broken
treatment for fractures for the forearm, upper arm, thigh,
lower leg, kneecap, collarbone, rib, nose, jaw, skull,
spine, and pelvis are also discussed in this chapter.
When you are required to give first aid to a person
who has suffered a fracture, follow these general rules:
FRACTURE OF THE FOREARM
1. When there is any possibility that a fracture has
been sustained, treat the injury as a fracture.
There are two large bones in the forearm. When both
are broken, the arm usually appears to be deformed.
2. Get the victim to a medical facility at the first
When only one bone is broken, the other acts as a splint
opportunity. All fractures require medical treatment.
and the arm, therefore, retains a more or less natural
3. Do not move the victim until the injured part has
appearance. Any fracture of the forearm is likely to
been splinted, unless you must move out of a
result in pain, tenderness, an inability to use the forearm,
life-threatening environment to prevent further injury.
and a wobbly motion at the point of injury. When the
4. Treat for shock.
fracture is open, there is an open wound through which
the bone may show.
5. Do not attempt to locate a fracture by grating the
ends of the bone together.
TREATMENT. When the fracture is open, stop the
bleeding and treat the wound. Apply a sterile dressing
6. Do not attempt to set a broken bone.
over the wound.
7. When a long bone in the armor leg is fractured,
Carefully straighten the forearm. (Remember that
the limb should be carefully straightened so splints can
rough handling of a closed fracture may convert it into
be applied. Never attempt to straighten the limb by
an open fracture.)
applying force or traction. Pulling gently with your
hands in the direction of the long axis of the limb is
Apply two well-padded splints to the forearm, one
permissible and may be all that is necessary to get the
on the top (backhand side) and one on the bottom (palm
limb back into position.
side). Make sure the splints are long enough to extend
from the elbow to the wrist. Use bandages to hold the
8. Apply splints. When the victim must be
transported for some distance or when a considerable
splints in place.