First Aid for Open Fractures of Limb Bones

Open fractures of the bones in the limbs are serious injuries that require immediate medical attention. In an open fracture, the bone pierces through the skin, increasing the risk of infection and other complications. Proper first aid can significantly improve the outcome. Here’s how to proceed:

  1. Calm the person

Firstly, it is important to remain calm and try to calm the injured person. Panic can worsen the situation by raising blood pressure and making it more difficult to provide assistance.

  1. Stop the bleeding Apply pressure around the wound: Use a sterile bandage, clean cloth, or gauze to press around the wound, but not directly on the exposed bone. If blood soaks through the bandage, add more layers without removing the first layer. Use compression bandages: If the bleeding is hard to stop, use compression bandages or a tourniquet to press the area above the wound to reduce blood flow.
  2. Immobilize the injured limb Do not try to reposition the bone: Never try to reposition the bone yourself. Immobilize the limb: Use splints or improvised materials (boards, sticks, sturdy cardboard) to immobilize the limb. Splints should cover the joints above and below the fracture. Secure the splints: Secure the splints with bandages, scarves, or strips, ensuring not to tighten them too much to avoid restricting circulation.
  3. Cover the wound Use sterile bandages: Cover the wound with a sterile bandage or clean cloth to prevent infection. Try to keep the wound as clean as possible.
  4. Apply a cold compress Reduce swelling: Place a cold compress or ice wrapped in cloth on the area around the fracture to reduce swelling and pain. Never place ice directly on the skin.
  5. Elevate the injured limb Elevate the limb: If possible, elevate the injured limb above heart level to reduce swelling.
  6. Seek emergency medical help

Open fractures require emergency medical intervention due to the high risk of infection and other complications. Seek medical help as soon as possible.

When to seek emergency medical help?

Immediately seek emergency medical help in the following situations:

If the bone is exposed. If bleeding does not stop after applying pressure. If the person feels severe pain, even after immobilization. If the person shows signs of shock (cold, clammy skin; rapid or weak pulse; dizziness or fainting). If the injured person is unconscious or has difficulty breathing. Additional first aid tips for open fractures Avoid giving food and drinks: If there is a possibility of surgery, the injured person should not eat or drink. Prepare for transport: If you need to transport the person yourself, ensure the injured limb is stabilized and the person is in a comfortable position. Conclusion

First aid for open fractures of the limb bones involves calming the person, stopping the bleeding, immobilizing the limb, covering the wound, applying a cold compress, and elevating the limb. Proper and swift first aid can significantly impact the outcome of the injury. It is always important to quickly seek professional medical help to ensure the safety and health of the injured person.


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