First-aid treatment of a broken bone: Know what you're doing

It's not easy to break a bone, but it happens more often than many people believe. This is particularly true of people who are involved in some type of accident, such as a slip, fall or car crash.

If you're involved in a motor vehicle accident, the first thing you should do is check yourself and your passengers for injuries. Don't worry about anything else just yet, as your health is top priority.

A broken bone is a serious injury that requires immediate medical attention. If you have any reason to believe you've suffered this injury, you'll want to call 911 to ensure that you're transported to a local hospital as soon as possible.

First-aid treatment of a broken bone includes the following:

  • Stop the bleeding. If there is any bleeding associated with the injury, maybe because the bone has punctured the skin, apply pressure with a clean bandage or cloth.
  • Immobilize the area. The last thing you want to do is "walk it off" or attempt to realign the bone. You may think about doing both these things, but you should let an experienced medical professional decide what action to take. The best thing you can do is immobilize the area of the injury.
  • Apply ice. This isn't always possible, such as if you were injured in a car accident, but if ice is available, use it to your advantage.
  • Beware of shock. Depending on the extent of the injury, it's possible a broken bone could result in shock. The most common symptoms of shock include rapid breathing, short breaths and a faint feeling.

Even though a broken bone is a serious injury, there are many ways to treat it. For example, if you break a bone in your foot, a cast can help speed up the recovery process.

Once you understand your injuries and have a clear idea of the recovery process, you can look back at the accident to determine what went wrong. Also, contact your insurance company to ensure that you're doing everything possible to receive the compensation you deserve.

Depending on the circumstances, such as if the other driver was at fault, you may need to take extra steps to protect your legal rights.

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