Sprains, strains, dislocations and fractures are our main focus for this second installment of Bone, Muscle & Joint Injuries. A muscle cramp is not actually an injury, it is a painful condition that can be caused by heavy exercise or by staying in the same position for too long. You can help a casualty with cramps, sprains, dislocations & fractures by utilizing a very similar set of First Aid steps.
Muscle Cramp Assistance:
- Rest “Have the casualty find a position of comfort”
- Stretch “Massage and stretch the injured area with the cramp“
- Change the positions of the injured area.
Bone, Muscle & Joint Injure Assistance:
- Rest “Have the casualty sit or lay in a position of comfort“
- Immobilize “Use splints to help keep the injury in a neutral position
- Cold “Cold packs help reduce inflammation and swelling”
- Elevate “A relaxed position slightly elevated will help ease swelling”
“A splint is a device used for support or immobilization of a limb or injured body part. It can be used in multiple situations, including temporary immobilization of potentially broken bones or damaged joints and support for joints during activity.”
- Soft Splints – Blankets / Towels / Pillows / Bandages
- Hard Splints – Wood / Tree Branch / Newspaper / Cardboard
- Anatomical Splints – Use another marching body part for support
- Slings – Upper limbs only, Uses the neck to support the arms weight.
How to help with a Bone, Muscle & Joint Injury:
- Check the area, once the area is safe, Check the person and ensure the persons ABC’s are present “Airway / Breathing / Circulation” REMEMBER – Wear gloves if available to avoid bodily fluids.
- Call 911 and get an AED if you are alone, you suspect a Head / Neck or Spine injury, there is a motor vehicle collision, dangerous environment or the injured persons life could be at risk. “If you expect the ambulance to arrive shortly, keep the person still and do not splint the injury. If the ambulance can be delayed “Immobilize the injury in the position found” NEVER straighten a broken bone without medical assistance and expertise”
- Care for the Bone Muscle & Joint Injury by:
Always follow recommendations by your Emergency Response professionals and 911 Dispatch personnel. “Never endanger yourself or the victim, you may “not” need to move or roll the injured person”
- If there are other life threatening injuries, treat those first as quickly as possible with as little movement to the injured person.
- a) Treat the injury using the “R.I.C.E” method
- b) Cool the injured area for 20 minutes of every hour for the first 24 to 48 hours. If you use ice, put some sort of thin cloth or pad between it and the bare skin to avoid freezing the skin.
- c) Elevate the injured are above the level of the heart if possible. “Often a position of comfort is more than enough to help alleviate pain and swelling”
In any emergency just remember to Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!
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