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Treat Bone Fractures

Important Information

Suspect a fracture if, after a fall or blow, a limb appears to be in an unnatural position, is unusable, swells or bruises rapidly or is extremely painful at a specific point


Only splint an injury if EMS care or transport to a medical facility is delayed and if you can do so without causing further pain and discomfort to the patient


All fractures need professional medical attention


Patient Care; Bone Fractures

  • STOP - Assess and observe the scene;

  • THINK - Consider your safety and form action plan

  • ACT - Check responsiveness and Alert EMS


  • For a patient involved in a major fall, collision or blow, conduct an injury assessment to determine the extent of all injuries besides an obvious dislocation or fracture

  • Splint the injury in the position found minimizing movement while splinting; Do not try to straighten the fracture

  • Bandage the splint in place using a triangle bandage or other available materials

  • Fractured fingers and toes may be taped to adjacent fingers or toes for extra support

  • Check circulation before and after splinting; Loosen the splint if it interferes with the circulation

  • For a closed fracture, apply a cold compress to the area to reduce the swelling during transportation