A fracture is a crack or break in a bone. A fracture usually occurs when force exerted against a bone is stronger than the bone can structurally withstand.
A fracture can be defined as a broken, cracked or bent (greenstick) bone. These can then be classes as a:
Closed fracture: The bone has not pierced the skin
Open fracture: The bone juts out through the skin
Complicated fracture: The bone has or is damaging an underlying organ, such as a fractured rib punctures a lung.
Swelling and tenderness
Crepitus (croken ends grinding together when moved)
Loss of function/power
Treatment of all fractures
Call 000 for an ambulance
A fracture may be an obvious injury, but DO NOT FORGET D.R.S.A.B.C.D. and the secondary survey
For lower jaw fractures allow the casualty to support their jaw in a position that is comfortable
DO NOT bandage the casualty’s jaw
DO NOT apply direct pressure to any protruding bone
Pad around the protruding bone
DO NOT elevate the limb
Allow the casualty to support the injured limb in a position of comfort
Always immobilise above and below the fracture when splinting
Triangular Bandages / Slings
The purpose of splints and slings is to prevent movement of the fractured bone by immobilising the limb, restricting the movement in the joint above and below the fracture site and reducing the amount of bleeding and further injury.