Emergency Treatment in Fractures
Accidents are the common cause for the fractures and dislocation of the bones. Displacement of the one bone on another at a joint is known as dislocation of the bones. The signs and symptoms of the fractures depend on the severity of the injury. The most common symptoms are pain, swelling and tenderness at the site of injury, dislocation of the bones, disability, grating, ecchymosed (discolouration of the skin).
Types of fractures
- Simple fractures or closed fractures: Bone is broken but there is no break in the skin above it.
- Compound fractures or open fractures: Bone is broken and the broken bone may protrude out through the wound. Tissues are also injured in the open fracture.
- Complicated fractures: Bone is broken with injury to blood vessel or nerve or a vital organ.
General Principles of Treatment
- Immobilization of the fractured part.
- If there is bleeding, the wounded part is covered with sterile dressing and try to stop haemorrhage.
- If the victim suffers from shock, the treatment for shock to be given as earlier as possible.
- Support the injured area with a pillow.
- Analgesics and anti-rheumatic drugs are given to relieve the pain and swelling.
Fractures of the foot and toe-
They are treated with pieces of light metal bent to the contour of the foot and leg or large pillows or blankets may be bandaged to the affected parts.
Fracture of the leg-
In general the fractured leg is immobilized by applying ordinary splint. If the splint is not available, a large, long pillow splint may be applied from the underside, folded over the sides and tied in several places along the thigh, leg and foot. So that the injured part is immobilized. If necessary a few sticks may be placed over the pillow splint and tied to each other in order to ensure further immobilization.
Fracture of the kneecap-
The knee cap or patella is a small bone lying in front of the knee joint. The lower limb is to be kept in strait position (complete extension) and immobilised with a pillow or board splint.
Fracture of fingers-
Splint the fractured finger with a thin board or metal strip running from the palm to the end of the finger or bandage it to an adjacent finger.
Fracture of the Wrist-
Bandage the forearm, wrist and hand on a piece of board.
Fracture of the forearm-
Hold the elbow, bent at right angles, keep the palm faces one’s body and thumb pointing towards the head. The forearm is kept in the above mentioned position and splints are applied. The splint may consist of two pieces of boards bound together, one on each side of the forearm, extending from the elbow to the first joint of the fingers. Fingers and thumb remain freely movable, and then the arm may be suspended in a sling.
Treatment of open fractures-
The common sites of open fractures are hands, fingers, wrist, foot, ankle, skull, elbow joint etc. In open fracture the broken bone pierces the tissues, muscles and comes out, thereby tissue injury is more. As the result bleeding occurs. This bleeding or hemorrhage is controlled by the use of tourniquet. After the hemorrhage has been controlled, the wound should be covered with a sterile dressing. The open fracture should be immobilized by applying splint. If there is any shock, it should be treated immediately. Antibiotics should be given to control systemic infection.
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