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Following accident, fracture may occur with or without open wounds. Whichever is the case, someone with fracture needs prompt doctor’s attention to minimize blood loss from the fracture, especially when it involves large bones like those of the hip and thighs.

Prompt treatment is also necessary to prevent the patient from infection, especially when there is an open wound.

What to do before getting to the hospital?

For patient with fracture, it is important to immobilize the fractured leg or arm. It is also important to stop the bleeding point because the patient may bleed to death before reaching the nearest hospital where care may be accessed.

To immobilize the fractured area, a rigid material is needed. Rigid cartons or small planks of wood may be improvised as splints to restrict movement of the fractured bones.

Whatever is used should be long enough to go across two joins at upper and lower ends of the injured part. For example, fracture of the bones of the leg (between the ankle and knee joints) should have splints go beyond the two joints. This reduces further injury as the patient is being moved to hospital.

To reduce bleeding, a hand or finger may be used to block the bleeding point as the patient is being transported to the hospital. A large piece of cloth may be used to bind the point.

This serves as tamponade (occlusion) which reduces the bleeding rate of the affected blood vessels. These simple measures have helped to save lives of accident victims.

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