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First Aid & Emergencies

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Fractures or Dislocations Treatment

Call 911 if:

  • The person is seriously injured.
  • You suspect injury to the person's head, neck, or back.
  • Bone is sticking out of the skin.
  • Bleeding doesn't stop after several minutes of firm pressure.
  • Blood spurts from the wound.

  • The person is seriously injured.
  • You suspect injury to the person's head, neck, or back.
  • Bone is sticking out of the skin.
  • Bleeding doesn't stop after several minutes of firm pressure.
  • Blood spurts from the wound.

 

1. Stop Bleeding, if Necessary

  • Apply firm pressure to wound with clean cloth until bleeding stops.
  • If bone is pushing through skin, do not touch it or try to put it back in place.

2. Splint the Area, if Possible

  • Cut away clothing if it cannot be removed without moving the injured body part.
  • Gently tape the dislocated area or fracture to a rolled-up newspaper, ruler, or a rolled-up piece of clothing with first aid tape. As much as possible, avoid moving the injured limb, and never force it or try to twist it back into place.

3. Reduce Swelling and Prevent Injury

  • Apply an ice pack wrapped in cloth or a cold compress.
  • Elevate the injured area if possible.

4. Manage Pain and Inflammation

  • For pain, give ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol), or naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn). Do not give aspirin to anyone under age 18.

5. Get Medical Help As Soon as Possible

6. Follow Up

  • The doctor will X-ray the dislocation or fracture and may realign and set it.
  • The doctor may apply a splint or cast, or surgery may be required.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on October 29, 2013

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