First aid for a suspected broken bone
- Control bleeding . Apply steady, direct pressure for a full 15 minutes. Use a clock-15 minutes can seem like a long time. Resist the urge to peek after a few minutes to see whether bleeding has stopped. If blood soaks through the cloth, apply another one without lifting the first. If there is an object in the wound, apply pressure around the object, not directly over it.
- Remove all rings or bracelets. It may be difficult to remove the jewelry after swelling develops.
- Use a sling to support an injured shoulder.
- If a bone is sticking out of the skin, do not try to push it back into the skin. Cover the area with a clean bandage.
If a cast or splint is applied, it is important to keep it dry and to try to move the uninjured parts of your limb as normally as possible to help maintain muscle strength and tone. Your doctor will give you instructions on how to care for your cast or splint.
Home treatment for minor symptoms
Home treatment may help relieve pain, swelling, and stiffness.
If your injury does not require an evaluation by a doctor, you may be able to use home treatment to help relieve pain, swelling, and stiffness. It may take up to 6 weeks or longer before your symptoms are gone.
- Rest and protect an injured or sore area. Stop, change, or take a break from any activity that may be causing your pain or soreness.
Ice will reduce pain and swelling. Apply ice or cold packs immediately to prevent or minimize swelling. Apply the ice or cold pack for 10 to 20 minutes, 3 or more times a day.
- For the first 48 hours after an injury, avoid things that might increase swelling, such as hot showers, hot tubs, hot packs, or alcoholic beverages.
- After 48 to 72 hours, if swelling is gone, apply heat and begin gentle exercise with the aid of moist heat to help restore and maintain flexibility. Some experts recommend alternating between heat and cold treatments.
- Wear a sling for the first 48 hours after the injury, if it makes you more comfortable and supports your shoulder. If you feel you need to use a sling for more than 48 hours, discuss your symptoms with your doctor.
- Elevate the injured or sore area on pillows while applying ice and anytime you are sitting or lying down. Try to keep the area at or above the level of your heart to help minimize swelling.
- Gently massage or rub the area to relieve pain and encourage blood flow. Do not massage the injured area if it causes pain.
- Try bending forward at the waist and let your affected arm hang straight down. Move your hips and legs and let that motion gently swing your arm back and forth .
- Do not smoke or use other tobacco products. Smoking slows healing because it decreases blood supply and delays tissue repair. For more information, see the topic Quitting Smoking.
|Try a nonprescription medicine to help treat your fever or pain:|
Talk to your child's doctor before switching back and forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.
|Be sure to follow these safety tips when you use a nonprescription medicine:|
Symptoms to watch for during home treatment
Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home treatment: