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What’s the best first aid strategy for a broken bone?

There is never a good time to break a bone. If this happens, you'll need to take a few key steps to prevent additional damage.

While there is no one-size-fits-all first aid strategy for a broken bone, there are definitely a few key steps that you need to take:

  • Stop any bleeding by applying gentle pressure with an article of clothing, piece of cloth or bandage
  • Immobilize the area, but never try to realign the bone on your own.
  • Apply ice, if available, in an attempt to relieve pain and limit swelling
  • Treat for shock, which starts with laying down and placing your head slightly lower than the trunk of your body

These are just a few of the more basic steps to take if you suffer a broken bone.

If you suffer this injury in a motor vehicle accident, for example, you may need to provide your own first aid until help arrives. This is why it's also important to immediately call 911. This will bring police and an ambulance to the scene as quickly as possible. At that point, you won't have to do anything on your own.

In addition to first aid treatment for a broken bone, you should never hesitate to seek medical attention. This is not the type of injury you treat on your own at home.

Once you have a better idea of your injuries and treatment schedule, you can turn your attention to the accident. Depending on the cause, such as if another driver was at fault, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries, medical bills and other damages.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Fractures (broken bones): First aid," accessed Oct. 20, 2017

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