HOWTO: Treat Broken Bones
* Stop any bleeding. Hold a clean, preferably sterile, absorbent material over the injury and apply gentle yet direct pressure (without applying over the break).
* Do NOT straighten the extremity if it is deformed – keep it in the position found.
* Do not move a person with a hip or pelvis fracture. If they must be moved, however, strap the legs together with a towel or blanket in between them and place the person gently on a board.
* Splint an injured bone by tying it gently to a rigid object, such as a board or stick, or even a rolled up newspaper. Cushion the object with clothing or other soft padding if available. Fasten the splint with a bandage if available. Secure the splint on both sides of the injury, above and below the break, but not on it.
* If a wrist, hand, or arm is injured, remove all watches, bracelets, and rings promptly.
* Check blood circulation. Press your fingertips firmly on the skin somewhere past the break (like the forearm, if the injury is in the elbow). If it doesn’t turn pink 2 seconds after you let go, circulation could be jeopardized. Also check for pale or blue skin, numbness or tingling, and loss of pulse. If, emergency care is not available quickly, try to realign the limb (not the head, neck, back, or hips) into a normal resting position so that tissues aren’t damaged due to lack of blood.
* Put ice on the injury. Never put the ice directly on the skin – put it in a bag first. After holding ice on the injury for about 20 minutes, take it off for 20 minutes.
* Prevent shock. Have the person lay down flat on their back and elevate their feet about 12 inches above the head. Cover him or her with a coat or blanket. Skip this step if the head, neck, or back was injured.
* Have the victim take painkillers to alleviate the pain.
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