All injured extremities (arms and legs in particular) should be considered as fractured until proper professional medical assessment is done.
First aid steps for fractures:
- Do not attempt to straighten or move the LIMB.
- Stabilize the limb using padding or a splint (if available) to keep the fractured area immobile. It is best to apply the splint so that it covers the affected limb as well as the joints immediately surrounding it.
- In the event that there’s no splint or padding available, anything straight, flat and sturdy may be used to stabilize the limb to prevent it from moving.
- Apply a cold pack on the injured area indirectly if there is swelling. Avoid placing ice directly on the injury.
- Provide anti-inflammatory medicine AFTER consulting the doctor.
Sprains, sometimes confused with bone injuries, refers to the stretching or tearing of ligaments that connect bones together in the joints. Treatment for a suspected sprain is identical to the treatment of a suspected fracture, given that the symptoms are almost identical. To rule out fracture, the doctor may order imaging tests, like X-ray.
It’s beneficial to learn basic first aid intervention as circumstances may arise in which you may be needed to alleviate pain and prevent further injury. Check out available materials online, but it is highly recommended to get proper training and certification from reputable institutions. You may consider getting First Aid Training from Red Cross.
Learn more about First Aid here.